"Cowardly" Fox News & Bill O'Reilly Sued By Sexually Harassed Ex-Producer

The lawsuit, filed in NY federal court, accuses O'Reilly and Fox News of defamation and breach of contract stemming from a 2002 settlement between them and former Fox News producer Rachel Witlieb Bernstein.

Bernstein's lawyer said Fox News falsely claimed that no one had complained to the company's harassment hotline, while Berstein claimed she repeatedly complained to HR and Fox News executives about O'Reilly's behavior. He abused Ms. Bernstein.

In the lawsuit, Bernstein said remarks that both O'Reilly and Fox News made in response to a New York Times article in April about how the network protected O'Reilly violated the terms of the confidentiality agreement that all sides agreed on. 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. She was forced out of her job at Fox News and paid a settlement because of his mistreatment.

That line, and in addition other open proclamations, spoke to a break of his settlement manage Bernstein, she claims in Manhattan Federal Court. She accused him of forcing her into a "nonconsensual relationship". Both O'Reilly and Fox said that a hotline was in place to anonymously report complaints and that no one had ever called it to complain about O'Reilly.

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O'Reilly would make other comments including to The Hollywood Reporter, which is cited in today's lawsuit. "They should release all victims from their NDAs and let the truth out".

Reps for Fox News and Bill O'Reilly were not immediately available for comment. "It is cowardly to publicly attack these women knowing they have been subjected to contractual provisions requiring absolute silence".

Bernstein's suit claims emotional distress as well as reputational and financial harm. "Defendants knew that plaintiff was forced by defendants to sign the non- disparagement and confidentiality clauses and would be able to answer defendants' false, disparaging and defamatory statements", it says. In it, Bernstein was personally identified as a "young producer" who, in 2002, was allegedly verbally assaulted by O'Reilly in the Fox newsroom. "This is false. In fact, he is a serial abuser and Ms. Bernstein's complaints about him were far from extortionate".