Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday again declared his innocence on multiple charges of sexual harassment and called his exit from the network “a political and financial hit job.”
In an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today,” O’Reilly denied the various accusations of sexual harassment that led to his ouster last April. “Every allegation in this era is a conviction,” he said, adding that he was one of many to be named in sexual harassment lawsuits at Fox News.
Advertisers dropped out of O’Reilly’s program after reports went public in April that the network and its star had paid more than $13 million to settle five sexual harassment lawsuits against O’Reilly. The network’s top-rated prime-time host was subsequently pushed out in April.
O’Reilly told Lauer that his firing “was a hit job, a political and financial hit job.”
“There were billions of dollars at stake in business deals,” O’Reilly said, and the network “made a business decision that they could prosper without me.”
“They had a contractual clause that they could pay me a certain amount of money and not put me on the air and they exercised that clause,” O’Reilly explained.
“I can go to sleep at night very well knowing that I never mistreated anyone on my watch in 42 years,” O’Reilly said, insisting to Lauer he did “absolutely nothing wrong.”
Lauer pressed the veteran broadcaster on the point, questioning why women would come forward against the network’s biggest star if the claims were false, to which O’Reilly tried to challenge the credibility of some of his accusers without going into any detail.
Watch the heated exchange above.