Monday, 11 December, 2017

O'Reilly sued by woman who settled harassment claims

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Diane Mills | 05 December, 2017, 02:41

A woman who settled with Bill O'Reilly is suing the former Fox News star and the cable network that used to employ him for defamation and breach of contract.

The lawsuit, filed in NY federal court, accuses O'Reilly and Fox News of defamation and breach of contract stemming from a 2002 settlement between them and former Fox News producer Rachel Witlieb Bernstein.

"A History" author has time and again claimed that the harassment allegations that led to his ouster from the Fox News in April have no merit while adding that he resolved the matters privately just to protect his children.

In addition to her claims against O'Reilly, Bernstein's lawsuit accuses Fox News of making a "deliberately misleading" statement regarding an employee hotline.

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Monday's lawsuit lists a series of statements issued by O'Reilly and Fox in the wake of an April story by the New York Times revealing that O'Reilly and the network paid $13 million in settlements to five women who accused him of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.

Reps for Fox News and Bill O'Reilly were not immediately available for comment. Her lawsuit said both O'Reilly and Fox News wrote false statements claiming that no one went to a company hotline to make claims against O'Reilly. Unlike the other settlements made by O'Reilly and Fox News, Bernstein's complaint did not involve sexual harassment. "They should release all victims from their NDAs and let the truth out".

One of Bernstein's lawyers said, quote, "It is cowardly to publicly attack these women knowing they have been subjected to contractual provisions requiring absolute silence". Her story was among those included in the New York Times report, although her suit said she was not the source of the information.

Now, Rachel Bernstein is taking objection to these comments with a complaint that cites the non-disparagement clause of the settlement agreement she had with O'Reilly in 2002. According to Bernstein's lawsuit, there was no hotline at the time, and she in fact told others at the network about the mistreatment. 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".

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