In the last couple of months, women have come out in large numbers exposing men that had sexually assaulted them. While some have chosen to open charges, Rachel Witlieb Bernstein settled with Bill O’Reilly. However, she sued Mr. O’Reilly and Fox News on Monday for defamation and contravening the contract. She claimed that a statement made by Mr. O’Reilly and the network was not only in violation of the settlement but brought her out as a liar and extortionist who is politically motivated. Ms. Bernstein is among the six women who settled after accusing Mr. O’Reilly of sexual harassment. The five other women have not spoken a word in public about their claim. Mr. O’Reilly has maintained that all the harassment allegations that led to him losing a job in Fox News have no merit. He claimed that he has never mistreated anyone and only opted settlement as a way of protecting his children.
The lawsuit that was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in part claimed that Mr. O’Reilly is a lair. Out of the mistreatment that Ms. Bernstein faced, she was forced to leave her work at Fox News. Most of the time, settlements that involve harassment have confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses that tend to bar people from talking about the issue and allows for harassment to continue. In a statement, one of Ms. Bernstein’s lawyer Neil Mullin said that the other victims of harassment are afraid to talk because they were forced into signing a nondisclosure agreement. She said that the women should be released from the nondisclosure agreement.
Mr. O’Reilly’s lawyer known as Fredric S. Newman said that his client had not mentioned the name of Ms. Bernstein in public at any single time. He said that the lawsuit had no merit. In the lawsuit, Ms. Bernstein says that she settled in 2002 after making complaints about Mr. O’Reilly’s behavior. Both sides were barred from speaking about the issue. The amount for this particular settlement remains unknown. According to Ms. Bernstein, once a case is settled, the appropriate response that Fox News and Mr. O’Reilly should have given is that the matter has been resolved. When Fox News claimed that no former or current employee had called the Hotline numbers to report Mr. O’Reilly, Ms. Bernstein referred this to a deliberately misleading statement since during her time the company had no hotline numbers.