Bill O'Reilly's Facing Sexual Harassment Allegations - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/14/04-New York

Bill O'Reilly's Facing Sexual Harassment Allegations

Fox News channel's Bill O'Reilly is headed to court facing bombshell allegations against him. Andrea Mackris, a female producer of O'Reilly's show, claims he sexually harassed her for years. Now, O'Reilly and Fox have gone on the offensive, suing Mackris and her attorney.

Last night, instead of starting his show with the latest political showdown, O'Reilly began with the controversy surrounding him. O'Reilly said, "There comes a time when enough's enough, so this morning I had to file a lawsuit against some people demanding 60 million dollars or they will quote punish me and Fox News." Faced with the sexual harassment allegation, O'Reilly says he had no choice but to file a complaint claiming extortion.

Mackris alleges on several occasions, O'Reilly made sexually explicit comments to her. This morning on Good Morning America, Mackris' attorney, Benedict Morelli, spoke on her behalf. Morelli said, "Mr. O'Reilly not only engaged in phone sex, but also said to her the next time it's going to be in person. She was shocked, frightened and upset. She felt trapped."

Fox News contends it's O'Reilly whose being trapped. His attorney says Mackris asked for the money to keep her story quiet. In court papers filed by Fox, the demand is called "blackmail, pure and simple."

O'Reilly's attorney has acknowledged Mackris and O'Reilly did spend time together both inside and outside of work. His attorney says, there is even one time when the two were together in a hotel room. His attorney says it was for business as the watched a political debate.

Fox News maintains 33 year old, Andrea Mackris never filed an internal complaint, and never complained to any superiors.

O'Reilly's attorney believes there are tapes of the phone conversations and is asking the court to order them turned over. The attorney concedes the tapes could then be made public. He says he and O'Reilly aren't concerned.

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