Andrea Mackris and Rebecca Gomez Diamond have joined forces to sue Bill O’Reilly and Fox News for defamation and breach of contract after the network reportedly depicted them as liars and politically motivated extortionists following their sexual harassment allegations. Here is what we know about the latest case against O’Reilly and the network that made him famous:
1/ Andrea Mackris worked as O’Reilly’s producer in the early 2000s. In 2004, Mackris sued him for sexual harassment.
2/ Rebecca Gomez Diamond worked as a host on Fox Business Network. In 2011, she reached a settlement with O’Reilly following sexual harassment claims against him.
3/ Both Mackris and Diamond recorded conversations with O’Reilly. As a result, both women were given settlements.
4/ The women allege that Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, “disparaged and defamed” them. Murdoch dismissed the “bad cases” as a “bit of flirting” despite knowing that the women had substantial and valid claims against O’Reilly.
5/ O’Reilly repeatedly claims that these allegations have no merit and that the only reason he agreed to settling with his accusers was to “protect his children.”
6/ Bill O’Reilly has 6 publicly known settlements that total about $45 million.
7/ Mackris and Diamond joined the lawsuit that Rachel Bernstein, a former Fox News employee, filed against O’Reilly. Though Bernstein’s allegations weren’t sexual in nature, they did involve O’Reilly’s behavior.
8/ All of the women have signed non-disclosure agreements.
The women are currently seeking release from their confidentiality agreements, an apology from O’Reilly, Fox News and Murdoch, an admission from the network that they did indeed have substantial evidence against O’Reilly, and compensation for legal fees, reputation damage, and emotional harm.
Do you think signing non-disclosure agreements following settlements should be banned? Is it fair for the employer/harasser to say the case was frivolous after it settled, while the employee can’t say anything?