Culture

One Of Bill O’Reilly’s Accusers Is Suing Him And Fox News For Defamation And Breach Of Contract

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Despite the fact that Sinclair Broadcasting wouldn’t touch him, former Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly seems to be doing okay for himself. Sure, he (and his highly esteemed Killing… book series) was kicked to the curb by the reputable William Morris Endeavor agency, and the whopping $32 million in settlements he and Fox News paid to his many sexual harassment accusers probably didn’t sit well with the banks. But the committed podcaster now has a brand new live show (available only to paid subscribers), and still manages to remain a fixture of the 24-hour news cycle.

Like he did on Monday, when the New York Times reported O’Reilly and Fox News were facing a lawsuit from Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, one of the ex-television anchor’s six accusers known to have reached settlements. Among other things, Bernstein’s lawsuit claims O’Reilly committed “defamation and breach of contract, saying that public statements he and the network made violated the settlement and portrayed her as a liar and politically motivated extortionist.” Here’s more:

Mr. O’Reilly has repeatedly said that the harassment allegations that led to his ouster from Fox News in April have no merit, that he never mistreated anyone and that he resolved the matters privately to protect his children.

“In fact, Mr. O’Reilly is the liar,” states the lawsuit, which was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. “He mistreated Ms. Bernstein. She was forced out of her job at Fox News and paid a settlement because of his mistreatment.”

In a statement one of Bernstein’s two lawyers, Neil Mullin — who, along with Nancy Erika Smith, also represented Gretchen Carlson in her July 2016 suit against the late Roger Ailes — put the situation plainly:

“Knowing Ms. Bernstein and Mr. O’Reilly’s other victims are afraid to speak out because he and Fox forced them to sign nondisclosure agreements, O’Reilly and Fox have made false and disparaging claims,” Mr. Mullin said in a statement. “They should release all victims from their NDAs and let the truth out. It is cowardly to publicly attack these women knowing they have been subjected to contractual provisions requiring absolute silence.”

Representatives for neither O’Reilly nor Fox News were able to give the Times an official comment before the story went to press. Even so, considering the last time the paper published a considerably damning story about the former cable news behemoth, he lashed out against them with plenty of sound and fury. (To paid subscribers, at least.)

(Via New York Times)

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