Hours after NBC host Megyn Kelly told her “Today” show viewers that she had complained about former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s behavior while they were colleagues at Fox, he brought forth evidence seeming to indicate the two had a very close relationship while they worked together.
“O’Reilly’s suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior is false. I know because I complained,” Kelly said.
But later, O’Reilly posted to his website two hand-written notes from Megyn Kelly and one from former Fox host Gretchen Carlson. All three appeared to show that O’Reilly had friendly relationships with the two women.
In one note, which Kelly sent to O’Reilly after he attended her baby shower, she called him a “class act” and said she was “truly touched.”
“You’ve become a dear friend (no matter what you say) + I am grateful to have you in my life,” the letter read.
In Kelly’s other note, she thanked O’Reilly for promoting her husband Doug’s book.
“Thanks for the plug on Doug’s book. I realize you didn’t have to do that, especially after mentioning it already. I appreciate how supportive you have been of me over the years here @ FNC.”
Kelly’s sign-off on this letter revealed she even looked up to O’Reilly: “You are a true friend + mentor. XOXO.”
Meanwhile, in Carlson’s note, she wrote a poem to O’Reilly.
“Thank you for being the calm in the sea. Thank you so much for supporting me. Thank you for being my friend. It means the world to me,” Carlson said.
On Sunday, O’Reilly said in a statement that in the 20 years he worked at Fox, not one complaint was ever filed against him with human resources or the company’s legal department. But in her “Today” segment, Kelly said that a remark from O’Reilly prompted her to send an email to the co-presidents of Fox News.
During a November 2016 appearance on CBS News, O’Reilly said he was wasn’t interested in “litigating something that is finished, that makes my network look bad.”
“Perhaps he didn’t realize the kind of message his criticism sends to young women across the country about how men continue to view the issue of speaking out about sexual harassment,” Kelly wrote in her email.
Kelly said Monday she perceived O’Reilly’s comments as “shaming women into shutting the hell up” about harassment and assault.
Shortly after he was interviewed on CBS, O’Reilly tried to make his perspective clearer. On “The O’Reilly Factor,” he argued that someone who was wronged in their workplace should “go to human resources or leave. I’ve done that. And then take the action you need to take afterward if you feel aggrieved. There are labor laws in this country.”
But according to Kelly, “Women everywhere are used to be dismissed, ignored, or attacked when raising complaints about men in authority positions.”
She also extended her criticism to Fox News media relations chief Irena Briganti, who she said “is known for her vindictiveness” and publishes stories attacking Kelly and others.
Fox News responded to the allegation against Briganti with a short statement saying, “Irena is a valued colleague and she has our full support.”