Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Darrell Mcdonald

Bill O'Reilly Settled With Her. Now She's Suing

Bill O'Reilly Settled With Her. Now She's Suing

Fox News and Bill O'Reilly have been hit with a lawsuit over press statements made in the wake of a New York Times story revealing the former television star had paid $13 million to five women to settle sexual harassment claims.

"This cynical falsehood about a non-existent hot line was made to bolster O'Reilly's claim that the women who received settlements must have fabricated their claims or they would have complained", said Bernstein's attorney Nancy Erika Smith, whose Montclair, N.J., law firm Smith Mullin represented Gretchen Carlson in her suit against former Fox chief executive Roger Ailes.

"O'Reilly has repeatedly said that the harassment allegations that led to his ouster from Fox News in April have no merit, that he never mistreated anyone and that he resolved the matters privately to protect his children".

Fox News also released a statement in response to the April 1 story, reiterating a claim by O'Reilly that "no one has ever filed a complaint about me" with the company's human resources department.

"O'Reilly depicted Ms. Bernstein in a false light, criticized and derided her character, raising doubt about her intentions in detailing O'Reilly's manhandle to HR and at last being constrained out at Fox News with a settlement assention", she asserts in her suit.

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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". The exact amount she was paid is not known, but it was far less than the other settlements.

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".

"He's gone far beyond that and painted our client in a awful 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. Her story was among those included in the New York Times report, although her suit said she was not the source of the information. He mistreated Ms. Bernstein.

Bernstein argued that all this violates the non-disparagement and confidentiality clauses in her settlement. She accused him of forcing her into a "nonconsensual relationship".

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