Bill O'Reilly settles sex harassment claims
Sorry, schadenfreude fans, but there will be no drawn-out courtroom battle between Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly and The O’Reilly Factor producer Andrea Mackris, and if there are any tapes of his alleged phone sex monologues, they’ll almost certainly never be heard in public. Just two weeks after the scandal broke, it’s over, with both sides agreeing to drop their dueling lawsuits. In a statement, O’Reilly’s lawyer, Ronald Green, said on Thursday, ”All cases and claims have been withdrawn and all parties have agreed that there was no wrongdoing whatsoever by Mr. O’Reilly, Ms. Mackris, or Ms. Mackris’ counsel, Benedict P. Morelli & Associates.”
On Oct. 13, Mackris had sued her boss for sexual harassment, citing long verbatim passages from alleged phone conversations full of lewd talk from the Factor host. Hours earlier, O’Reilly sued her and Morelli, alleging that they had hoped to extort $60 million from him in return for silence over the harassment charges, an allegation that Mackris and Morelli denied in print and TV interviews. Now that both sides have agreed to a settlement, whose terms were confidential, it’s not clear whether O’Reilly agreed to pay Mackris any money, though the New York Daily News cites sources saying that he would have to pay her between $2 million and $10 million.
O’Reilly never specifically refuted any of Mackris’ claims, but on his show Thursday night, he cited his lawyer’s statement, saying, ”Obviously, the words ‘no wrongdoing’ are the key.” He added, ”This brutal ordeal is officially over and I will never speak of it again.”