Former Fox News producer claims O'Reilly broke agreement


One of the women who reached a silent settlement with Bill O'Reilly over harassment charges sued the fallen pundit and his former employer, Fox News, on Monday for defamation and breach of contract.

O'Reilly was constrained out of Fox News in April following a progression of disclosures about affirmed lewd behavior and manhandle.

According to the Times, Bernstein's suit did not, unlike some of the other claims against O'Reilly, involve sexual harassment.

Fox News fired its famed host in April amid several sexual harassment allegations against him.

Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, a former junior producer at Fox News, is one of six women who reportedly entered into settlement agreements after alleging abuse by O'Reilly.

Bernstein complained in 2002 that she was mistreated by O'Reilly when she worked for the network, and ultimately reached a settlement agreement with the network.

However, Fox News and O'Reilly have not responded so far. According to Bernstein's lawsuit, there was no hotline at the time, and she in fact told others at the network about the mistreatment.

Bernstein alleges in her suit that she complained repeatedly about O'Reilly's mistreatment of her to the company's human resources department and top Fox News executives, but nothing was done. She accused him of forcing her into a "nonconsensual relationship".

A lawyer for Ms. Bernstein, Neil Mullin, asked that O'Reilly and Fox release all victims from their non-disclosure agreements in order to "let the truth out".

"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. "It is cowardly to publicly attack these women knowing they have been subjected to contractual provisions requiring absolute silence".

Bernstein says the statement was false.

The lawsuit says Bernstein has suffered loss of income, emotional distress and sickness. "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.