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Mary Katharine Ham on Bill O’Reilly: ‘Our Relationship Was Frustrating — He Was Often Paternalistic’

Friday on CNN’s “New Day,” Federalist senior writer and CNN contributor Mary Katharine Ham discussed her relationship with embattled for Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly, who left Fox News after two decades amid allegations of sexual harassment earlier this week.

Ham, who was a regular on O’Reilly’s program for nearly a decade, told “New Day” co-host Alisyn Camerota she didn’t have much to tell about the turmoil involving O’Reilly and former Fox News executive Roger Ailes.

However, she said her relationship with O’Reilly was “frustrating” and described him as “paternalistic.”

Remarks as follows:

Probably if we’re turning a corner, it’s in seeing that women can deal with these issues and move forward in their careers and having that modeled in a really, really public way. And I have to say, people are asking me, ‘Why are you not talking about this?’ And it is because I don’t have much to tell. I never met Roger Ailes, which is very strange for having been an employee at Fox News. I sat across from Bill [O’Reilly] — actually, I was mostly in D.C., which I think is an important distinction because the environment was different in D.C. than New York.

But I worked with Bill for almost 10 years, weekly. And nothing bordering on sexually inappropriate with him. Look, our relationship was frustrating. He was often paternalistic. Sometimes it was a fine relationship. But you can see I mostly worked it out on camera by yelling at him, maybe once every month or six weeks. The other ladies did some of that as well. And so that was sort of the extent of it.

But I do think one of the problems with doing business the way that it was done is even though I didn’t experience it and frankly didn’t see it, and I assure I would not have been quiet had I, is that every woman who walks through those doors has questions hanging over her head and odd interactions she has to have about this and people wondering about you. And none of us deserve it. Victimized or not, none of us deserve that part of it, either.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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