Former Fox News Host Eric Bolling said it was “beyond inappropriate” for his former colleague, Bill O’Reilly, to have told New York Times reporters that his son had died as a result of reporting about him.
O’Reilly brought up the death of Bolling’s son, which occurred hours after Fox News announced Bolling was leaving the network following sexual harassment allegations, in an interview with the New York Times on Wednesday. The Times published audio clips of the interview on Monday in its “The Daily” podcast.
“I urge you to think about what you put in your newspaper. Eric Bolling’s son is dead,” O’Reilly told the Times reporters interviewing him. “He’s dead because of allegations made — in my opinion and I know this to be true — against Mr. Bolling.”
In a statement to the Times’ Emily Steel, Bolling said “I believe it is beyond inappropriate for anyone to bring in the tragic 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,” he continued. “My parting from Fox News was in no way connected to the tragic news of my son’s passing.”
— Emily Steel (@emilysteel) October 23, 2017
The New York Times reported Saturday that O’Reilly had reached a $32 million settlement with a former Fox News analyst, Lis Wiehl, who made allegations against him including, in the Times’ words, “repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to her.”
O’Reilly told the Times that the settlement was meant to protect his children from the intense media scrutiny aimed at him.
And he charged on Monday that the Times had published “a hit job to get me out of the marketplace.”