Bill O’Reilly Settles Lawsuit for Millions
What a big Bill! Paying millions in sex-harassment case (New York Daily News)
Bill O’Reilly and the decades-younger producer who claimed he tormented her with unwanted phone sex reached an out-of-court settlement last night – putting a seeming end to an embarrassing sex scandal for the Fox News superstar. Sources told the Daily News that O’Reilly will have to pay Andrea Mackris at least $2 million – and possibly as much as $10 million. Under the deal, Mackris will drop the sexual harassment suit she filed against the talk-show host and Fox. O’Reilly and his Fox bosses, in turn, will forget about the extortion suit they filed against Mackris and her lawyer.
“On a personal note, this matter has caused enormous pain, but I had to protect my family and I did,” O’Reilly said on last night’s edition of “The O’Reilly Factor.” “This brutal ordeal is now officially over and I will never speak of it again,” he added. The terms of the agreement – which came two weeks after the scandal exploded – were confidential. But Mackris’ court filing – accusing her famous boss of pelting her with sleazy phone calls, pestering her for kinky sex and boasting of his sexual prowess – already has been laid out in explicit detail.
I’m no fan of O’Reilly regardless of the merits of these claims. The ability of accusers to extort huge sums from public figures through the courts, creating a situation where it’s cheaper to settle than have one’s reputation smeared for months on end, is a growing danger, however. Even if all Mackris alleged were true, that the damages could amount to more than a few thousand dollars is simply baffling. We’ve got to end this idiotic lottery-by-lawsuit system.