Bill O'Reilly sued by former Fox News producer for defamation


Bill O'Reilly is being sued by a woman who claims he violated a settlement agreement in a harassment case by disparaging her in the news media as a liar and extortionist.

"Fox News has been aware of complaints about inappropriate behavior by Mr. O'Reilly since at least 2002, when Mr. O'Reilly stormed into the newsroom and screamed at a young producer, according to current and former employees, some of whom witnessed the incident".

As a result of the statements made by O'Reilly and the Fox News, Bernstein stated that she suffered reputational harm, emotional distress, physical sickness and loss of income, states the suit.

Bernstein is being represented by Neil Mullin and Nancy Erika Smith, who represented former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson in her 2016 lawsuit against the network's late founder and former chairman, Roger Ailes.

"O'Reilly portrayed himself as a "target" and claimed that complaints against him are extortionate", Ms. Bernstein's lawsuit said. O'Reilly has denied the claims.

Her suit names both Fox News and O'Reilly as defendants and seeks damages to be determined at trial for breach of contract, defamation and other claims.

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The complaint, filed in NY federal court, also addresses statements from Fox News this past April.

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. "Mr. O'Reilly is fully committed to supporting our efforts to improve the environment for all our employees at Fox News".

Ms. Bernstein claims that statements made by Mr. O'Reilly and Fox News in response to the article disparaged and defamed her and violated the confidentiality clause of the settlement, which required that if asked about the dispute, the parties could respond by stating, "The matter has been resolved (or settled)". The Times notes that Bernstein did not accuse O'Reilly of sexual harassment. "There is ample evidence that Fox News, with the complicity of top executives, enabled the abuse of women for many years then silenced them with non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement clauses".

The plaintiff said she was not the source for the information printed in the Times story.

Reps for Fox News and Bill O'Reilly were not immediately available for comment. Her claim was, rather, workplace mistreatment by the former Fox News host.