Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

Woman sues Bill O'Reilly and Fox for defamation over sex harassment

Woman sues Bill O'Reilly and Fox for defamation over sex harassment

Bill O'Reilly is being sued by a woman he settled up with in a harassment case, claiming he violated a clause in their agreement that prohibited him from talking trash about her.

In a complaint filed Monday in United States District Court for the Southern District of NY, attorneys for Rachel Witlieb Bernstein claim that O'Reilly and Fox News both broke a non-disparagement clause that was part of a 2002 settlement agreement.

She said Fox and O'Reilly misled the public by claiming that no one complained to a Fox hotline about his behavior.

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In the lawsuit, Bernstein said remarks that both O'Reilly and Fox News made in response to a New York Times article in April about how the network protected O'Reilly violated the terms of the confidentiality agreement that all sides agreed on.

A former Fox employee who reached a settlement with Bill O'Reilly in 2002 says he smeared her as a liar, breaking their deal.


O'Reilly's attorney and Fox News could not immediately be reached for comment. In it, Bernstein was personally identified as a "young producer" who, in 2002, was allegedly verbally assaulted by O'Reilly in the Fox newsroom. "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".

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Bernstein alleges that O'Reilly had defended the payouts in the New York Times and other publications by portraying her as a "liar and politically motivated extortionist". While he denies the merits of these claims, Mr. O'Reilly has resolved those he regarded as his personal responsibility. She was constrained out of her activity at Fox News and paid a settlement in light of his abuse.

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. He abused Ms. Bernstein. In another widely published statement he said, "the worst part of my job is being a target for those who would harm me and my employer, the Fox News Channel".

She went to HR and other organization administrators to gripe about him a few times.

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