A New York woman who had reached a settlement agreement with Bill O’Reilly and Fox News due to sexual harassment allegations filed suit against both on Monday, December 4, 2017. The suit is for breach of contract and defamation due to statements she said were made about her following the settlement. O’Reilly, who was Fox News’ top star for decades was let go amidst a number of allegations the broadcaster had been sexually harassing multiple women.
Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, a former Fox News producer, received a settlement in 2002 under the condition if either party was asked about the incident they would simply say the matter had been resolved. According to the lawsuit, Bernstein contends O’Reilly and Fox News disparaged her by saying she was politically and financially motivated to receive the settlement.
The New York Times is following the latest updates and uploaded a copy of the lawsuit online. You may view that document in the link below. Smith Mullin represents Rachel Witlieb Bernstein who also represented Gretchen Carlson in her suit against disgraced and deceased Fox News CEO Roger Aisles.
Gretchen Carlson, who was first to come forward with allegations she was sexually harassed at Fox News spoke out about the lawsuit. Carlson is also credited with being the voice that launched a flurry of additional sexual harassment allegations nationwide and creating an atmosphere where women finally found the strength to speak out.
Carlson shared the following on Twitter.
“More bad news for @BillOReilly – when u call women liars after you’ve settled with them that’s called defamation. @SmithMullin.”
— Gretchen Carlson (@GretchenCarlson) December 4, 2017
And here's a link to the lawsuit: https://t.co/TUP4qXshow
— Emily Steel (@emilysteel) December 4, 2017
According to the lawsuit, Rachel Bernstein had repeatedly told her supervisors of the harassment; however, nothing was done. The harassment became unbearable and Bernstein ultimately left her position at Fox News but did receive an undisclosed settlement.
In April 2017, the NY Times published a story about O’Reilly, Fox News, and the settlements. In response to the story, comments were made indicating that Bernstein had failed to notify anyone about the complaint because she didn’t call a hotline.
Bernstein says there was no hotline and the comment violated the terms of the settlement. Additionally, she says the disparaging remarks have caused her further emotional distress and will ultimately hurt her ability to earn money.
Bill O’Reilly has yet to make a public comment about the suit.