Tremendously disheartening that we part ways: Bill O'Reilly on his ouster

New York [U.S.A.], Apr 20 (ANI): Following his dismissal from position as a prime-time host on Fox News, Bill O'Reilly has said that it was tremendously disheartening that he had to part ways with Fox due to "completely unfounded claims."

In a statement of his own released later Wednesday afternoon, O'Reilly said, "It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today."

Earlier, with the disclosure of multiple settlements involving sexual harassment allegations against him, O'Reilly was forced out of his position as a prime-time host on Fox News.

"After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel," 21st Century Fox, Fox News's parent company, said in a statement on Wednesday.

O'Reilly's departure comes two and a half weeks after an investigation by The New York Times revealed how Fox News and 21st Century Fox and O'Reilly reached settlements with five women who had complained about sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior by him. The agreements totalled about $13 million.

Since then, more than 50 advertisers had abandoned his show, and women's rights groups called for his ouster. Inside the company too, women expressed outrage and questioned whether top executives were serious about maintaining a culture based on "trust and respect."

A staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, O'Reilly has been an anchor at Fox News since he started at the network in 1996. He was the top-rated host in cable news, serving up defiant commentary every weekday at 8 p.m., with a message that celebrated patriotism and expressed scorn for political correctness.

O'Reilly's departure is the second sex scandal to rock the network in less than a year. Last July, Fox News's then chairman, Roger Ailes, was forced out amid allegations that he sexually harassed numerous women. Those allegations led to the departure of another of Fox's primetime stars, Megyn Kelly, who also accused Ailes of inappropriate behavior.

Both O'Reilly and Ailes have vehemently denied the allegations against them. (ANI)