A lady who entered a secret settlement concurrence with Bill O'Reilly in 2002 while at Fox News charged in a claim Monday that the "serial abuser and quitter" spread her as a liar, breaking the terms of their arrangement.
As a result of the statements made by O'Reilly and the Fox News, Bernstein stated that she suffered reputational harm, emotional distress, physical sickness and loss of income, states the suit.
O'Reilly was forced out of Fox News in April following a series of revelations about alleged sexual harassment and abuse. In it, Bernstein was personally identified as a "young producer" who, in 2002, was allegedly verbally assaulted by O'Reilly in the Fox newsroom.
"O'Reilly portrayed himself as a "target" and claimed that complaints against him are extortionate", Ms. Bernstein's lawsuit said. Unlike other claims, this one didn't involve sexual harassment.
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"He's gone far beyond that and painted our client in a bad light", lawyer Neil Mullin told WaPo, claiming that O'Reilly violated the 2002 settlement case by implying that Bernstein's claims were politically motivated, Variety reported. She said she talked repeatedly to bosses about O'Reilly's actions, but there was no hotline in place at the time of the incidents.
Rachel Witlieb Bernstein's attorneys filed a lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY against O'Reilly and his former employer, Fox News, for breach of contract and defamation.
Bernstein argued that all this violates the non-disparagement and confidentiality clauses in her settlement. Bernstein refuted the existence of the hotline, her lawyer characterized Fox's claim as a "cynical falsehood about a nonexistent hotline" that was invented "to bolster O'Reilly's claim that the women who received settlements must have fabricated their claims or they would have complained". The exact amount she was paid is not known, but it was far less than the other settlements.
O'Reilly was sacked on April 19 from Fox News after a 20-year run at the cable network.
O'Reilly's attorney and Fox News could not immediately be reached for comment.