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Bill O'Reilly apologizes to former Fox colleague for podcast comment

NEW YORK -- Bill O'Reilly has apologized for saying the death of his former Fox News colleague's son was related to sexual harassment allegations against the father. 

O'Reilly said in a New York Times podcast Monday: "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."

Nineteen-year-old Eric Chase Bolling died Sept. 8 in Colorado. 

Bill O'Reilly fires back on sexual harassment settlements report

Fox News announced earlier that day it had parted ways with Eric Bolling, who was suspended in August following allegations he sent lewd photos to female co-workers. 

Bolling told The Times later Monday that O'Reilly's comment was "beyond inappropriate." 

Bolling says his son's death "was in no way connected" to his parting from Fox News. 

O'Reilly tweeted a message Monday saying, "Apologies to Eric Bolling and prayers for him and his family. The message I tried to send was that allegations harm kids. Nothing more."

Bolling accepted O'Reilly's apology on Twitter Monday night. 

Fox News fired O'Reilly in April amid sexual misconduct allegations. 

His comments about Bolling came up in an interview with two New York Times reporters about a previously unreported allegation against O'Reilly by former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl.

The Times reported Saturday that O'Reilly agreed to pay Wiehl $32 million to settle her claims of harassment and "a nonconsensual sexual relationship," and that Fox knew of the settlement, though not the amount, when it extended O'Reilly's contract last February.