Bill O'Reilly sued for defamation by one of his accusers

Bill O'Reilly

A woman who reached a settlement with Bill O'Reilly over harassment allegations sued Mr. O'Reilly and Fox News on Monday for defamation and breach of contract, saying that public statements he and the network made violated the settlement and portrayed her as a liar and politically motivated extortionist.

In addition to that, the suit cites additional comments which appeared in The Hollywood Reporter and various other outlets, which Bernstein says violated the terms of their agreement. According to Bernstein's lawsuit, there was no hotline at the time, and she in fact told others at the network about the mistreatment. While he denies the merits of these claims, Mr. O'Reilly has resolved those he regarded as his personal responsibility.

Bernstein also took issue with a Fox News statement claiming that no employees had ever previously raised complaints to management about O'Reilly's behavior.

Rachel Bernstein, who was a junior producer at FOX News, claims she settled a lawsuit in 2002 for an undisclosed amount. She said she talked repeatedly to bosses about O'Reilly's actions, but there was no hotline in place at the time of the incidents.

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. Bernstein's attorneys also pointed to O'Reilly's response to another Times story published in October, which stated that he paid a $32 million settlement earlier this year to Lis Wiehl, a former legal analyst for Fox News. The story said Bernstein left Fox "with a payout and bound by a confidentiality agreement", and that her settlement "was far less" than the others.

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O'Reilly was sacked on April 19 from Fox News after a 20-year run at the cable network.

Fox News ended its association with O'Reilly in April due to sexual harassment allegations against the TV host and commentator. O'Reilly screamed at Bernstein in front of other employees, according to the New York Times.

O'Reilly and spokesman Mark Fabiani did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment.

Bernstein said there was no hot line in existence at the time of her employment.

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