Bill O'Reilly, 'sad' over firing, returns to podcast

PHOTO: Bill OReilly of "The OReilly Factor" on the Fox News Channel, Oct. 1, 2015, in New York. PlayRichard Drew/AP Photo
WATCH Bill O'Reilly speaks out

Bill O'Reilly is "sad" that he is no longer hosting his "O'Reilly Factor" program on Fox News, but says, in the wake of the sexual harassment claims that drove him from his spot in front of the camera, that he is "confident the truth will come out."

The conservative commentator made his first spoken comments since being fired from his show last week on his "No Spin News" podcast Monday. O'Reilly admitted he was "surprised" how the situation transpired while he was on vacation in Italy last week, but did not delve into many details.

O'Reilly has denied all allegations.

"I can't say a lot because there's much stuff going on right now," said O'Reilly at the top of the podcast. "But I can tell you 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."

"There's a lot of stuff involved here," he continued.

Fox News' decision to dismiss O'Reilly came in the aftermath of an April 1 New York Times report which described settlements he reached with five women who accused him of harassment. O'Reilly has denied the misconduct claims levied against him.

After the Times investigation, O'Reilly wrote on his website that "like other prominent and controversial people," he is "vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity."

He also wrote that he is "a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way" and therefore had to "put to rest any controversies to spare my children."

Following his dismissal, O'Reilly released a statement in which he called it "tremendously disheartening" that his relationship with Fox News was ending due to "completely unfounded" claims.

On Monday's podcast, O'Reilly pledged to maintain his four-day-per-week podcasting schedule, broadcasting in the format he has utilized for years in addition to his television work.

Continuing in the podcasting sphere may prove lucrative for O'Reilly. A 2016 study by the Pew Research Center revealed that some 21 percent of Americans who were 12 or older listened to a podcast during the previous month. That was up from 12 percent in 2013.