Former top-rated Fox News host Bill O'Reilly is back in the headlines after a report Saturday by the New York Times alleging that he paid a stunning $32 million in a settlement with an accuser. O'Reilly has since fired back, slamming the Times for printing more "lies" and addressing the issue on his web series Monday night. During Monday's episode, O'Reilly admitted that in addition to blaming left-wing forces for drumming up outrage over the allegations, he's partly "mad at God" over the whole thing.
"You know, am I mad at God? Yeah, I'm mad at him," said O'Reilly on his "No Spin News" webcast Monday, CNN reports. "I wish I had more protection. I wish this stuff didn't happen. I can't explain it to you. Yeah, I'm mad at him."
"If they could literally kill me, they would," he said of his enemies on the left. "If I die tomorrow and I get an opportunity, I'll say, 'Why'd you guys work me over like that? Didn't [you] know my children were going to be punished? And they're innocent."
O'Reilly went on to say that there are others who have had it much worse than him and acknowledged that he is a major target because he's a "big mouth" on the right.
"But then I think about people who have it much, much rougher than me. And you know, I'm a big mouth. I'm a target. They're not targets," he said.
O'Reilly has consistently denied allegations of sexual misconduct, maintaining that he reached settlements with accusers to protect his family and that the campaign against him is "politically and financially motivated."
"I never mistreated anyone," O'Reilly told the Times. "It's politically and financially motivated, and we can prove it with shocking information, but I’m not going to sit here in a courtroom for a year and a half and let my kids get beaten up every single day of their lives by a tabloid press that would sit there, and you know it."
O'Reilly urged the Times to consider the damage their reporting can do, pointing to one of his former colleagues as an example. "I urge you to think about what you put in your newspaper. Eric Bolling’s son is dead," O'Reilly said. "He’s dead, because of allegations made, in my opinion — and I know this to be true — against Mr. Bolling."
That comment was met with a sharp response from Bolling, who slammed O'Reilly for the "beyond inappropriate" reference. "I believe it is beyond inappropriate for anyone to bring in the death of my son Eric Chase Bolling, just as Bill O’Reilly had wanted to shield his children from the allegations against him. I hope he will honor my request and avoid any future mentions of my son," said Bolling.
O'Reilly quickly apologized to Bolling, but tensions between O'Reilly and other former colleagues continue. On Monday, Megyn Kelly said she had complained about O'Reilly's response to sexual misconduct allegations against former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, but her complaint fell on deaf ears. Gretchen Carlson also weighed in publicly on the alleged $32 million settlement, tweeting, "Nobody pays $32m for false allegations — nobody."
O'Reilly responded by posting images of handwritten notes from Kelly and Carlson expressing their admiration and respect for him.