Bill O'Reilly Sued for Allegedly Defaming One of His Accusers

05 December, 2017, 02:39 | Author: Angelina Schmidt
  • Rachel Bernstein is suing for breach of her settlement agreement and defamation

A woman who settled a harassment claim against Bill O'Reilly filed a lawsuit against the former Fox News host, claiming he violated their settlement by disparaging her in the press.

Rachel Witlieb Bernstein claims in her U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY suit Bernstein v. O'Reilly, 17-cv-09483, that she was not the source of information for the April 1 story that appeared in the Times.

The Times reported in April that O'Reilly and Fox News paid out millions of dollars to five women to settle harassment claims. Unlike the other settlements made by O'Reilly and Fox News, Bernstein's complaint did not involve sexual harassment.

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Bernstein complained in 2002 that she was mistreated by O'Reilly when she worked for the network, and ultimately reached a settlement agreement with the network. O'Reilly has denied the claims.

The story and others would cause O'Reilly to lose his job, but not before he commented, "Just like other prominent and controversial people, I'm vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity".

That line, as well as other public statements, represented a breach of his settlement deal with Bernstein, she alleges in Manhattan Federal Court.

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In a complaint filed Monday in United States District Court for the Southern District of NY, attorneys for Rachel Witlieb Bernstein claim that O'Reilly and Fox News both broke a non-disparagement clause that was part of a 2002 settlement agreement. 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. She was constrained out of her activity at Fox News and paid a settlement in light of his abuse. "Mr. O'Reilly is fully committed to supporting our efforts to improve the environment for all our employees at Fox News".

In the lawsuit, Bernstein said remarks that both O'Reilly and Fox News made in response to a New York Times article in April about how the network protected O'Reilly violated the terms of the confidentiality agreement that all sides agreed on. He was the network's top rated personality for most of that time.

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

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Fox News did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

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