Rachel Witlieb Bernstein is one of six women who sued Bill O’Reilly after harassment allegations. She was a former Fox News producer. She was the only one of the women who did not sue him for sexual harassment – she experienced harassment by O’Reilly in other ways, like epic temper tantrums. O’Reilly settled out of court with all six women including Ms. Bernstein. Part of the settlement agreement was a disparagement clause – meaning that no one listed in the case can talk sh*t against any of the others. In a new lawsuit, Ms. Bernstein says that O’Reilly has done just that.
The settlement explicitly states that if publicly asked about the settlement, to answer the question with something along the lines of “the matter has been resolved (or settled).” However, according to the new lawsuit, an April 2017 exposé by The New York Times revealed some of the details of Ms. Bernstein’s settlement with O’Reilly and she was not their source.
The lawsuit says that “O’Reilly portrayed himself as a ‘target’ [in the expose] and claimed that the complaints against him are extortionate. This is false. In fact, he is a serial abuser and Ms. Bernstein’s complaints about him were far from extortionate.” It further contends that Fox News made a “deliberately misleading” statement by saying that no current or former Fox News employee ever used a hotline to report complaints about Mr. O’Reilly. Bernstein said that there was never a hotline at Fox News when she worked there, but she did complain about O’Reilly multiple times to human resources.
Bill O’Reilly’s lawyer, Fredric S. Newman, stated that O’Reilly never mentioned the plaintiff publicly and said that it really doesn’t even apply to Bernstein because she wasn’t part of any sexual harassment settlement and not under any disparagement clause.
But… but… WHY would O’Reilly’s lawyer worry about a disparagement clause if he said nothing publicly? Something just doesn’t add up, but we sure do love watching O’Reilly squirm.