Bill O’Reilly and Fox News Sued for Defamation

Bill O’Reilly and Fox News have been sued for defamation by two additional former employees. This suit comes just a few weeks after Rachel Bernstein sued Bill O’Reilly and Fox News for defamation and breach of contract. The two additional former employees, Rebecca Diamond and Andrea Mackris, allege that they were defamed in a New York Times article from April 2016 because it mentioned the settlements they received from Fox News after accusing Bill O’Reilly for sexual harassment and other misconduct in the workplace. Rebecca Diamond was the host on the Fox Business Network and Andrea Mackris was a producer on “The O’Reilly Factor.” The news article mentioned that O’Reilly had paid $13 million in settlements over the years to Bernstein and other employers who had complained about being sexually harassed or abused while working for Fox News.

The most recent lawsuit was filed Wednesday December 20th, 2017 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In the New York Times article from April 2016, all three plaintiffs were mentioned by their full name. Rachel Bernstein also filed her original suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Bernstein argued that Bill O’Reilly and Fox News violated the settlement agreement which required both sides to not release any information regarding the suit and only say the matter has been resolved. Diamond and Mackris argued that they were defamed in the article when it mentioned them by name and questioned why they did complain about the harassment sooner. Similar to Bernstein, they also argued that O’Reilly violated their settlement agreement in the New York Times article when he was quoted “I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity. The worst part of my job is being a target for those who would harm me and my employer, the Fox News Channel.”

In addition to suing Bill O’Reilly, the plaintiffs allege Fox News defamed them when they reiterated and defended O’Reilly’s defense in comments made to the New York Times. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, (Fox News parent company) defamed the plaintiffs by his recent comments to the media seeming to downplay the sexual harassment accusations brought against O’Reilly. Murdoch was quoted saying that “It’s all nonsense.” All three plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages, including punitive damages.

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