Bill O’Reilly is filing another lawsuit, this time to protect his “good name” from besmirchment by sexual harassment charges:
Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly sued one of his associate producers and her lawyer on Wednesday, alleging they threatened him with a high profile sexual harassment case unless he and Fox paid $60 million in “hush money.”
The conservative commentator, who is seeking unspecified damages, states his reputation has been damaged and that the scheme has caused him to suffer “great mental strain, anguish and severe emotional distress.”
Benedict Morelli, the lawyer named as a defendant in the case, did not immediately return phone calls. The associate producer, Andrea Mackris, still works at Fox but could not be reached for comment. Her voice mail recording identified her as an associate producer of “The O’Reilly Factor.”
The suit states that Mackris began working as an associate producer on the program in April 2000. She left for a few months earlier this year to work for CNN but returned to Fox in July.
Although Mackris had never previously complained to anyone in authority at Fox about sexual harassment by O’Reilly, last month her lawyer began threatening to sue Fox over offensive statements made to her, the suit said.
During a meeting Morelli had with Fox and News Corp representatives, he showed them a draft of the complaint containing lengthy quotes that came from O’Reilly. The suit charged that the length of the quotes and the “specific verbiage” made it appear that Mackris had taped O’Reilly.
Morelli demanded $60 million in “hush money to keep quiet,” according to the suit.
Sounds like a pre-emptive suit by O’Reilly to me. If Andrea Mackris actually does have Bill on tape this might get very interesting indeed.