Rep. Maxine Waters cheered Bill O’Reilly’s ouster from Fox News on Wednesday amid a sexual harassment scandal. She said the former host suffers from a psychological ailment and needs help.
During an interview on CNN, the California Democrat said that, despite the longtime success of his evening talkshow program, O’Reilly is “not going to be recorded favorably in history,” The Washington Examiner is reporting.
“Unfortunately, he was a man who made tremendous sums of money, had a huge show and really there’s something wrong with him psychologically. He obviously could not sustain relationships,” Waters said.
She added that she hopes O’Reilly seeks some help and hopes the women who accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment “feel good about the justice they are receiving.”
An investigation by the New York Times a a couple weeks found either O’Reilly or Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, paid five women a total of $13 million in exchange for agreeing to not pursue litigation or speak about their accusations of sexual harassment or other types of inappropriate behavior.
The women, not identified in the report, either worked for O’Reilly or appeared on his show. The accusations date at least as far back as 2002.
It was just last summer that Fox News’ former chairman, Roger Ailes, resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal. At the time, the network said it did not tolerate behavior that “disrespects women or contributes to an uncomfortable work environment.”
On Wednesday, Waters claimed that the fight is over. “That thank god it’s stopped now with Bill O’Reilly at Fox.”
O’Reilly recently stepped into a separate controversy involving Waters after he joked on the air about her hair, which he said looked like a “James Brown wig.” He later offered a tepid apology.
“I’m a strong black woman and I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined. I cannot be thought to be afraid of Bill O’Reilly or anybody,” Waters said in response to O’Reilly. “And I’d like to say to women out there everywhere, don’t allow these right-wing talking heads, these dishonorable people to intimidate you or scare you.”