Bill O'Reilly saddened, surprised by Fox News exit, says truth will come out

Bill O'Reilly says he's sad and surprised that he's off TV but is confident the truth will come out about his exit from Fox News.

O'Reilly told listeners that when the truth comes out, he thinks they will be shaken

Bill O'Reilly posted a podcast to his personal website Monday, following allegations of sexual harassment and his subsequent firing by Fox News. It's the first time O'Reilly addressed his audience since the departure. (Andy Kropa/Invision/Associated Press)

Five days after being fired from his top-rated Fox News Channel perch, Bill O'Reilly used a podcast to express his dismay and vowed that "the truth will come out."

"I am sad that I'm not on television anymore," he said in an episode Monday of his personal website's No Spin News podcast, available only to subscribers after this week's free window. "I was very surprised how it all turned out."

O'Reilly, who exited Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations that he has denied, said he couldn't add much more "because there's much stuff going on right now."

"But I can tell you that I'm very confident the truth will come out and when it does, I don't know if you're going to be surprised, but I think you're going to be shaken, as I am," said O'Reilly, who was Fox's most popular and most lucrative personality.

He declined to expand on that, he said, "because I just don't want to influence the flow of the information. I don't want the media to take what I say and misconstrue it."

But his listeners have a right to know exactly what happened and "we are working in that direction," he said.

Claims 'unfounded,' says O'Reilly

O'Reilly's remarks were the first since his exit last Wednesday, which took place while he was away on his vacation. He had issued a statement after Fox announced his departure, defending himself against what he called "unfounded claims" and saying he took pride in his 20-plus years with the news channel. 

O'Reilly's firing came after The New York Times reported in early April that five women had received settlements totaling $13 million after they alleged sexual harassment and other mistreatment and dozens of advertisers pulled out of his show. He was paid a reported $25 million upon his exit.

On his podcast, O'Reilly didn't address speculation that he might land elsewhere in broadcasting or cable, but discussed briefly how he intended to build his online forum into a "genuine news program."

Tucker Carlson Tonight will begin airing an hour earlier to fill the time slot vacated by O'Reilly, who lost his job after allegations that he sexually harassed women. (Richard Drew/Associated Press)

On Monday's roughly 20-minute podcast, he discussed topics including President Donald Trump's poll numbers. As the program is developed, guests and other elements would be added, he said.

Not long after O'Reilly signed off online, Tucker Carlson's show moved into the 8 p.m. ET time slot that had been home to The O'Reilly Factor. Carlson, taking note of the change, said he marveled at the high bar that O'Reilly set and promised to do his best to meet it on Tucker Carlson Tonight

Earlier Monday, former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros filed a lawsuit against Fox News saying she believes network operatives used bogus social media accounts to torture her after she complained about sexual harassment by longtime former CEO Roger Ailes, who resigned last July. The network denied her claims.