LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly is suing an associate producer of his show and her lawyer, claiming they threatened to go public with a sexual-harassment claim unless he paid them millions of dollars in “hush money.”
A few hours after O’Reilly filed his claim Wednesday (Oct. 13), Andrea Mackris, an associate producer on “The O’Reilly Factor,” filed her own suit, alleging that O’Reilly has sexually harassed her and created a “virulently hostile work environment” for her and other female employees at Fox News and Westwood One, the syndicate that broadcasts O’Reilly’s radio show.
(Copies of both lawsuits are online at TheSmokingGun.com.)
Fox News is also a plaintiff in O’Reilly’s suit, filed in New York. The suit charges that Mackris and lawyer Benedict Morelli asked O’Reilly and Fox News for $60 million in exchange for keeping quiet “a scandalous and scurrilous claim based on alleged inappropriate comments made to Mackris by O’Reilly.”
Mackris, who has worked on “The O’Reilly Factor” for most of the past four years, didn’t pursue any internal action against O’Reilly before hiring a lawyer, O’Reilly’s suit claims. Additionally, Mackris’ claim does not state that she suffered any “adverse employment actions,” such as a pay cut or demotion.
Mackris, meanwhile, paints a picture of O’Reilly as someone who had sex on his mind all the time and frequently asked her to have phone sex with him. Her suit quotes O’Reilly at length as he allegedly described sexual encounters, including a sex show in Thailand that “blew [his] mind.”
O’Reilly also claims that lawyer Morelli’s actions are politically motivated, timed to make O’Reilly look bad in the weeks before the presidential election. O’Reilly’s show and Fox News as a whole have enjoyed ratings spikes during the campaign season.