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

Peter Castro
December 5, 2017

Berstein's attorney filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY against O'Reilly and Fox News for breach of contract and defamation.

"This cynical falsehood about a non-existent hot line was made to bolster O'Reilly's claim that the women who received settlements must have fabricated their claims or they would have complained", said Bernstein's attorney Nancy Erika Smith, whose Montclair, N.J., law firm Smith Mullin represented Gretchen Carlson in her suit against former Fox chief executive Roger Ailes.

"Today's lawsuit has absolutely no merit, and Mr. O'Reilly will respond aggressively in court", Newman said.

She says O'Reilly insinuated she extorted him which she says is a lie, calling the former FNC host a "serial abuser". 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. The exact amount she was paid is not known, but it was far less than the other settlements.

Bernstein says in her suit she was not a source for investigative stories on O'Reilly's behavior. According to Bernstein's lawsuit, there was no hotline at the time, and she in fact told others at the network about the mistreatment. She accused him of forcing her into a "nonconsensual relationship".

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Neither reps for FNC nor O'Reilly replied to request for comment on the suit. The statement by Fox News is deliberately misleading and in breach of Fox's agreement not to disparage Ms. Bernstein.

The defendants breached their agreement by making statements other than the agreed-upon statement that were false and defamatory, Bernstein alleges. Bernstein says that "repeatedly complained" to Fox News's human resource department. "They should release all victims from their NDAs and let the truth out".

Citing harm to Bernstein's reputation, "severe emotional distress, physical sickness, and loss of income", the complaint drills into the specific violations that it alleges both O'Reilly and FNC committed.

Subsequent statements by O'Reilly are alleged to have violated the nondisparagement clause, according to Bernstein. In it, Bernstein was personally identified as a "young producer" who, in 2002, was allegedly verbally assaulted by O'Reilly in the Fox newsroom.

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