Culture&Arts

Bill O'Reilly, Fox News Sued for Defamation by Female Accuser

Bill O'Reilly, Fox News Sued for Defamation by Female Accuser

A woman who settled a harassment claim against Bill O'Reilly filed a lawsuit against the former Fox News host, claiming he violated their settlement by disparaging her in the press.

In a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Bernstein said O'Reilly and Fox News broke their nondisclosure agreement in remarks to the New York Times.

"O'Reilly portrayed Ms. Bernstein in a false light, defamed and disparaged her character, calling into question her motives for reporting O'Reilly's abuse to HR and ultimately being forced out at Fox News with a settlement agreement", she claims in her suit.

Fox News fired its famed host in April amid several sexual harassment allegations against him. In it, Bernstein was personally identified as a "young producer" who, in 2002, was allegedly verbally assaulted by O'Reilly in the Fox newsroom. He mistreated Ms. Bernstein.

"He's gone far beyond that and painted our client in a bad light", lawyer Neil Mullin told WaPo, claiming that O'Reilly violated the 2002 settlement case by implying that Bernstein's claims were politically motivated, Variety reported. She also says she made repeated complaints in person to the network's human resources department and to other senior Fox News executives.

Bernstein was one of the five women mentioned in the Times story in April, which prompted dozens of advertisers to flee O'Reilly's top-rated Fox show and the network to eventually fire him.

Bernstein argued that all this violates the non-disparagement and confidentiality clauses in her settlement. "Mr. O'Reilly is fully committed to supporting our efforts to improve the environment for all our employees at Fox News".

Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, a previous junior maker at Fox News, is one of six ladies who supposedly went into settlement assentions in the wake of claiming misuse by O'Reilly. In October, The Times also reported that the anchor had paid a $32 million settlement to Lis Wiehl, a former federal prosecutor and a legal analyst at the network.

Bernstein said there was no hot line in existence at the time of her employment. O'Reilly screamed at Bernstein in front of other employees, according to the New York Times.

However, Fox News and O'Reilly have not responded so far.


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