Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly apologized to former FNC star Eric Bolling for invoking his dead son’s name while responding to sexual harassment allegations. Bolling accepted the apology.
“Apologies to Eric Bolling and prayers for him and his family,” O’Reilly tweeted Monday evening. “The message I tried to send was that allegations harm kids. Nothing more.”
Less than 15 minutes later, Bolling responded: “Thanks Bill, apology accepted.”
Apologies to Eric Bolling and prayers for him and his family. The message I tried to send was that allegations harm kids. Nothing more.
— Bill O'Reilly (@BillOReilly) October 23, 2017
Thanks Bill, apology accepted. https://t.co/2lkUxxAvFD
— Eric Bolling (@ericbolling) October 23, 2017
The brouhaha erupted after O’Reilly brought up Bolling’s dead son, Eric Chase Bolling, during an interview with the New York Times, where he slammed the sexual harassment accusations raised by former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl, 56.
O’Reilly paid Wiehl — an attorney who graduated from Harvard Law School — $32 million after she claimed he forced her into a “nonconsensual sexual relationship.”
While armchair “legal experts” opine that O’Reilly must have done something “really bad” to pay out such a huge settlement, it bears noting that most settlements are determined based on potential lost earnings or (in the case of a high-profile person like O’Reilly) to limit future legal exposure.
Separately, O’Reilly clapped back at Megyn Kelly, who jumped on the anti-Fox bandwagon in an apparent bid to pander to liberals for ratings.
In the New York Times interview, O’Reilly said scurrilous accusations can harm the children of the accused, and pointed to the tragic recent death of Eric Bolling’s 19-year-son as evidence.
“I urge you to think about what you put in your newspaper,” O’Reilly told the New York Times. “All of a sudden all this stuff happens and the pain it brings to my children is indescribable. Indescribable. I would give up my life to protect my children, but I find myself not being able to protect them because of things that are being said about me.”
O’Reilly added: “Eric Bolling’s son is dead, he’s dead, because of allegations made in my opinion — and I know this to be true — against Mr. Bolling,” O’Reilly said.
Bolling responded by immediately blasting O’Reilly for bringing his dead son into this media circus. “I believe it is beyond inappropriate for anyone to bring in the tragic death of my son Eric Chase Bolling,” Bolling said in a statement.
“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. My parting from Fox News was in no way connected to the tragic news of my son’s passing.”
Eric Bolling’s son was found dead in his bed at his college apartment in September 2017 just hours after his dad was ousted by Fox News amid allegations he had sent lewd photos of male genitalia to his female colleagues several years ago.
Eric Chase was distraught over the harassment accusations against his dad, according to multiple press reports. The cause of his death is still undetermined, although initial reports claimed he had committed suicide. Bolling disputes these reports.
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