O'Reilly, Fox Face Breach of Contract Claims Over Outing of Accuser

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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.

"Fox News has been aware of complaints about inappropriate behavior by Mr. O'Reilly since at least 2002, when Mr. O'Reilly stormed into the newsroom and screamed at a young producer, according to current and former employees, some of whom witnessed the incident".

According to the suit, the settlement agreement provided that the parties would not disparage each other and that, if asked, the parties would say that "the matter has been resolved". Bernstein alleges that Fox News, through its parent company, 21st Century Fox, falsely told The Times that it had received no complaints to an anonymous company hotline because, she contends, there wasn't a hotline while she was employed there in 2002. He mistreated Ms. Bernstein.

In the New York Times story, O'Reilly said he paid Bernstein and other women who complained because he's "vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity".

The complaint, filed in NY federal court, also addresses statements from Fox News this past April.

The woman, Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, is one of six known to have reached settlements after making accusations against Mr. O'Reilly.

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Bernstein says in her suit she was not a hotspot for investigative stories on O'Reilly's conduct. "Mr. O'Reilly is fully committed to supporting our efforts to improve the environment for all our employees at Fox News". She was constrained out of her activity at Fox News and paid a settlement in light of his abuse.

Fox News ended its association with O'Reilly in April due to sexual harassment allegations against the TV host and commentator.

Bernstein argued that all this violates the non-disparagement and confidentiality clauses in her settlement. He was the network's top rated personality for most of that time. The Times notes that Bernstein did not accuse O'Reilly of sexual harassment.

The plaintiff said she was not the source for the information printed in the Times story.

A Fox News spokesperson and representative for O'Reilly did not respond to a request for comment.

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