Bill O'Reilly broke his silence over his Fox News firing to call it "tremendously disheartening" to be leaving "due to completely unfounded claims" in his sexual harassment scandal.

"Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television," O'Reilly said in a statement. "It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel."

Parent company 21st Century Fox announced earlier Wednesday that it had determined that O'Reilly "will not return to the Fox News Channel" after multiple women's stories of sexual harassment came to light.

The latest Fox News scandal was first triggered by a New York Times article earlier this month that revealed Fox and O'Reilly had settled multiple sexual harassment claims with a number of women, totaling in the millions of dollars.

O'Reilly is currently on vacation in Italy and had been scheduled to return Monday.