Bill O’Reilly has broken his silence following news of his departure from Fox News amid sexual harassment claims.
“It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims,” Mr O’Reilly said in a statement. “But that is the unfortunately reality many of us in the public eye must live with today.”
He added: “I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox New Channel.”
Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News Channel, said earlier Wednesday that the company and Mr O’Reilly had agreed that he would not return to the TV channel, following an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel.
His departure was triggered by a New York Times investigation that revealed he and Fox News paid a combined $13m to silence women who had complained of sexual harassment. Numerous companies boycotted advertising on his top-rated show following the allegations. Mr O’Reilly will be replaced in the Fox News 8pm slot by Tucker Carlson.