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Bill O’Reilly in Legal Battles

Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News anchor and host of popular political show, The O’Reilly Factor, has recently been slapped (October 13th, 2004) with a sexual harassment lawsuit by a female employee who claims the conservative talk-show host repeatedly subjected her to sexual harassment through dinner and phone conversations variously described as lewd, lascivious, vile and threatening.

Andrea Mackris, 33, a Fox associate producer filed the lawsuit.  A former White House intern in the first Bush administration, Mackris began working for O’Reilly in April 2000.  Her complaint said that the first time she noticed odd behavior by O’Reilly came in 2002, when the Fox host allegedly urged her to use a vibrator after her engagement broke off.

The marked the beginning of his sexually aggressive behavior, according to Makris.  Andrea Makris says O’Reilly forced her to have telephone sex against her wishes. He accuses her of making two lewd telephone calls.  Mackris’ lawsuit asserts that during a phone conversation this August, O’Reilly suggested she buy a vibrator and was clearly excited. Before hanging up, she said, O’Reilly told her, I appreciate the fun phone call.  She contended he made a similar call Sept. 21, ending that one by saying, Next time you’ll come up to my hotel room and we’ll make this happen.

Makris had taken a brief break from Fox News after accepting a position with CNN.  However, she was wooed back to the Fox Network, when O’Reilly agreed to match her salary at CNN.  Nobody had noticed any deviant behavior by O’Reilly towards Makris, although Mackris said in her lawsuit that she told O’Reilly she would return to Fox only if he stopped the inappropriate behavior.  Makris said that O’Reilly told her, If any woman ever breathed a word I’ll make her pay so dearly that she’ll wish she’d never been/ born. I’ll rake her through the mud, bring up things in her life and make her so miserable that she’ll be destroyed.

Since receiving the news, O’Reilly has been on a rampage.  This is the saddest day of my life, he said on the Regis and Kathy Lee Show, the day he had found out about the lawsuit.  On his show, O’Reilly called the case, the single most evil thing I have ever experienced, and I’ve seen a lot. But these people picked the wrong guy.  He vehemently denies the allegations.  O’Reilly claims that he has received many threats in the past, but now, his is ready to take a stand and not give in to extortion.

In response, O’Reilly, 55, also filed a lawsuit against Makris and her lawyer.  He claims the alleged victim of the harassment threatened him with the lawsuit in an attempt to extort hush money from the Fox News star.

In his countersuit, O’Reilly said that they demanded $60 million in hush money to not file the lawsuit.  Besides the attempt for money, O’Reilly charged that his accuser and her lawyer were trying to embarrass him and Fox News Channel three weeks before the election.  

Bill O’Reilly is host of The O’Reilly Factor on the Fox news channel. O’Reilly poses as an objective independent news analyst with a no-spin zone.  Although most critics believe that he’s a biased Republican with an all spin-zone – with a clear right-wing agenda.  Fox News is often regarded as the symbol of corporate media, which have ties to the Republican Party and George W. Bush.