A woman who settled with Bill O'Reilly is suing the former Fox News star and the cable network that used to employ him for defamation and breach of contract.
Rachel Witlieb Bernstein claims in her U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY suit Bernstein v. O'Reilly, 17-cv-09483, that she was not the source of information for the April 1 story that appeared in the Times. While O'Reilly has denied all sexual harassment allegations, he allegedly entered five secret settlements with victims, according to The New York Times. Unlike the other settlements made by O'Reilly and Fox News, Bernstein's complaint did not involve sexual harassment. He abused Ms. Bernstein.
Fox News severed its relationship with O'Reilly in April amid mounting harassment claims.
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Bernstein says O'Reilly's statement is false, claiming she repeatedly complained to HR and various Fox execs.
Rachel Bernstein, who was a junior producer at FOX News, claims she settled a lawsuit in 2002 for an undisclosed amount.
Bernstein says in her suit she was not a hotspot for investigative stories on O'Reilly's conduct. The story said Bernstein left Fox "with a payout and bound by a confidentiality agreement", and that her settlement "was far less" than the others. "Mr. O'Reilly is fully committed to supporting our efforts to improve the environment for all our employees at Fox News". In October, The Times also reported that the anchor had paid a $32 million settlement to Lis Wiehl, a former federal prosecutor and a legal analyst at the network.
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"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.
The plaintiff said she was not the source for the information printed in the Times story. O'Reilly screamed at Bernstein in front of other employees, according to the New York Times.
O'Reilly was constrained out of Fox News in April following a progression of disclosures about affirmed lewd behavior and manhandle.
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