Bill O'Reilly Sex Harassment Scandal Comes Back With a Vengeance as Victim Sues Fox News for Defamation
A woman who settled sexual harassment claims against disgraced former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has now sued both him and Fox for allegedly violating their settlement terms by publicly attacking her.
The New York Times reports that O’Reilly accuser Rachel Witlieb Bernstein has filed a lawsuit after both O’Reilly and the network publicly “portrayed her as a liar and politically motivated extortionist.”
“In fact, Mr. O’Reilly is the liar,” claims Bernstein’s lawsuit. “He mistreated Ms. Bernstein. She was forced out of her job at Fox News and paid a settlement because of his mistreatment… he is a serial abuser and Ms. Bernstein’s complaints about him were far from extortionate.”
The Times notes that Bernstein’s lawyers — Neil Mullin and Nancy Erika Smith — have in the past argued that companies such as 21st Century Fox use nondisclosure agreements as ways to silence harassment accusers, and thus keep their employees’ misdeeds from reaching the public.
None of the other five women known to have settled sexual harassment claims against O’Reilly has joined Bernstein in suing the network so far. In total, Fox and O’Reilly have paid out tens of millions of dollars to settle harassment claims, including one claim in which O’Reilly personally paid out $32 million to one accuser.