Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Woman sues Bill O'Reilly and Fox for defamation over sex harassment

Woman sues Bill O'Reilly and Fox for defamation over sex harassment

A woman who settled a sexual harassment complaint against former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly alleges in a new suit that he and the network breached their nondisparagement and confidentiality agreements after she was outed in a New York Times story about claims against O'Reilly.

In addition to her claims against O'Reilly, Bernstein's lawsuit accuses Fox News of making a "deliberately misleading" statement regarding an employee hotline. Under a flood of sexual harassment allegations that he still denies despite several settlements and accusations, O'Reilly was pink slipped by FNC after over two decades on April 19 this year.

Once a junior producer at Fox News and now working at Conan O'Brien's production company, Bernstein is suing for breach of contract and defamation.

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. Fox News did not respond to a request for comment.

Bernstein alleges in her suit that she complained repeatedly about O'Reilly's mistreatment of her to the company's human resources department and top Fox News executives, but nothing was done.

"In fact, Mr. O'Reilly is the liar", claims Bernstein's lawsuit. Both O'Reilly and Fox said that a hotline was in place to anonymously report complaints and that no one had ever called it to complain about O'Reilly.

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She went to HR and other organization administrators to gripe about him a few times. In another widely published statement he said, "the worst part of my job is being a target for those who would harm me and my employer, the Fox News Channel".

O'Reilly would make other comments including to The Hollywood Reporter, which is cited in today's lawsuit.

A lawyer for Ms. Bernstein, Neil Mullin, asked that O'Reilly and Fox release all victims from their non-disclosure agreements in order to "let the truth out".

The lawsuit says Bernstein has suffered loss of income, emotional distress and sickness.

The New York Times revealed in April that Bernstein left the system in the wake of documenting a protest about him "raging into the newsroom" and shouting at her. Mullin's law firm, Smith Mullin, also represented former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who alleged she was harassed by the late Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes.

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