O'Reilly: Aide In $60M Extort Bid

Newsman denies sexually harassing female Fox coworker

Bill O'Reilly

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O'Reilly: Female Aide In $60M Extort Bid

Fox Informed Of Possible Bombshell Lawsuit

OCTOBER 13--Claiming that he was the target of a $60 million shakedown bid, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly today filed a lawsuit against a female colleague who has been threatening to lodge a harassment complaint against the TV personality over offensive comments allegedly made to her by the "O'Reilly Factor" host.

In an aggressive preemptive strike filed today in New York State Supreme Court, O'Reilly names Fox associate producer Andrea Mackris and her lawyers as defendants in the action, which charges them with extortion, infliction of emotional distress, and wrongful interference with contractual relations.

O'Reilly claims that Mackris, 33, and her counsel tried to extort hush money from him by threatening to file a bombshell lawsuit. While acknowledging that he shared "dinner and cocktails" with Mackris--and even watched a presidential press conference alone with her in his hotel room--he denied engaging in any physical or sexual assaults or "offensive touching."

According to O'Reilly's complaint, a copy of which you'll find here, Mackris worked for him for four years before talking a job at CNN earlier this year. After five months at the Fox competitor, she returned in July to the "O'Reilly Factor," where she earns $93,200.

According to O'Reilly, he first learned of Mackris's claims last month when her attorney, Benedict Morelli, sent network executives a letter referring to the alleged harassment. According to O'Reilly's lawsuit, Morelli later showed Fox brass a draft complaint including quotes attributed to the TV star. "The length of the quotes and the specific verbiage used made it appear that Mackris was taping O'Reilly during the conversations," the lawsuit contends. (16 pages)