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Oct. 28, 2004

Bill O’ Reilly hit with sexual harassment lawsuit, settles out of court

by Michael Bushnell, Page Editor
This is not original reporting. All sources have been gathered from stories by The Washington Post, CNN and The Dallas Morning News, as well Thesmokinggun.com, which published a copy of the actual lawsuit itself.

EDIT: Bill O' Reilly announced that he has settled the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by his former producer out of court on Thursday, Oct. 28.

O' Reilly was clearly relieved to have the case, filed in Manhattan by former producer Andrea Mackris, over with, saying on his Westwood One radio show that "this brutal ordeal is now officially over, and I will never speak of it again."

On his Fox News TV program, The O' Reilly Factor, the pundit said, "This matter has caused enormous pain, but I had to protect my family, and I did. All I can say to you is please do not believe everything you hear and read."

O' Reilly actually saw the ratings for his Fox show rise over the 15 days that the lawsuit was pending. The amount O' Reilly will pay was not disclosed.

To read more about the case, read the original Silver Chips Online story that was posted.

Original Story

Television and radio host Bill O' Reilly was hit with a sexual harassment suit by a former producer just hours after the Fox News host filed a preemptive suit first.

O'Reilly has been embattled by the lawsuit filed by Andrea Mackris, 33. The suit, which was filed in Manhattan on Oct. 13 and posted on Thesmokinggun.com, claims that O'Reilly made numerous lewd phone calls to her with inappropriate requests that made her uncomfortable. Mackris is looking for $60 million from O'Reilly, Fox and Westwood One, his employers.

O'Reilly, 55, who is married with two children, actually filed suit first, claiming that Mackris and her lawyer, Benedict Morelli, were trying to extort "hush money” out of the defendants. Fox has called the suit "baseless” and claimed that it was designed to "tarnish the reputations of Fox and O'Reilly.”

Mackris left Fox News last winter for CNN but returned this past summer after, ironically, her boss at CNN in New York was fired for sexual harassment. Mackris returned by mid-August after being guaranteed her old job and salary back and, according to her, a "strictly professional" relationship between her and O'Reilly.

In the lawsuit, she claims that, during various dinners with O'Reilly, the Fox News host repeatedly made inappropriate comments. Mackris also said that one time on the phone, O'Reilly talked vividly about the two on a fantasy Carribean vacation. When Mackris reminded O'Reilly that he was her boss, he allegedly said, "Well, you'll just have to suspend that.” She claims this kept going on through the end of September, 2004.

O'Reilly filed his lawsuit in Nassau County Supreme Court on Long Island, where he lives. O'Reilly called Mackris' suit "extortion” and claimed that he would fight it until the end. He has called Mackris' charges "politically motivated,” noting that Morelli is a Democratic donor.

O'Reilly hosts The O' Reilly Factor on both Fox News Television and the Westwood One radio network.



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  • hgfdh on October 28, 2004
    bill o'reilly is pimp...big ups
  • mr J Bradley (View Email) on October 30, 2004
    mr O"Reilly Is always boasting that his radio broadcast is a no spin zone,who"s
    kidding who
  • carol (View Email) on April 22, 2005 at 9:24 AM
    Dear Mr.Bradly,
    Is there any recent news about this attorney,
    Mr.Morelli?Thanks,Carol
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