Former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly decided to share his thoughts on the sexual harassment scandal that caused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign Tuesday, but the conservative broadcaster’s own checkered past has people wondering why he thought this was an appropriate subject to discuss online.
In a tweet, O’Reilly seemed to criticize Cuomo for his actions — a recent report from New York Attorney General Leticia James found that Cuomo sexually harassed “a number” of state employees; at least a dozen women have come forward accusing the prominent democratic governor of inappropriate behavior.
“Like Cuomo, many of the loudest woke voices have quiet resumes that are appalling; especially in the media and in Hollywood,” O’Reilly said August 10.
O’Reilly had also previously tweeted, “Cuomo quits as New York Governor. I suspect he made some “deals” with state authorities. Don’t expect criminal charges but he’ll have a slew of civil suits.”
The backlash on Twitter was swift and merciless. Many people jumped to recall that O’Reilly himself has settled numerous lawsuits for alleged sexual harassment.
“Nobody knows sexual harassment like Bill O’Reilly, from the inside,” radio host Grant Stern joked.
In total, O’Reilly and Fox have paid at least $45 million to settle multiple harassment claims against him.
One of the settlements was with accuser Andrea Mackris, who settled her claim against O’Reilly for $9 million in 2004. Though she was legally bound by a non-disclosure agreement O’Reilly and his team made her sign in order to receive settlement payments, Mackris in a July interview with the Daily Beast, “he knew I’d never consented but he didn’t care.”
O’Reilly was abruptly ousted from Fox News in April 2017 after the New York Times reported he and the network had paid out at least $13 million in settlements to at least five women who’d accused him of sexually harassing them — essentially, hush money. This led to a widespread advertiser boycott and “The O’Reilly Factor” saw its advertiser count drop by at least 50%.
After O’Reilly was fired from Fox News, The New York Times further reported an additional settlement for which he’d paid out $32 million. The Times also reported 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company, was aware of that deal, also.
After O’Reilly criticized Cuomo on Twitter it seemed everyone in his mentions was determined to remind him of his own legal issues. “Yea maybe Bill O’Reilly should sit this one out,” Reuters legal correspondent Jan Wolfe noted.
“Hey, remember when you were on Fox News? Why aren’t you still there?” historian and author Kevin M. Kruse asked in reply.
Check out more reactions to O’Reilly’s take below.