Two more former associates of Bill O’Reilly have joined a defamation lawsuit filed by a fellow O’Reilly accuser.
Andrea Mackris, Rebecca Gomez Diamond and Rachel Witlieb Bernstein have come together in a defamation suit after O’Reilly claimed that they were political operatives trying to take him down and liars with the goal of extortion, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
Mackris is a former producer on O’Reilly’s show who claimed she had been sexually harassed by O’Reilly. According to her complaint, the Fox News host would call and engage in phone sex fantasies with her.
According to a New York Times article, the 2004 suit also said that O’Reilly had threatened her and told her that anyone who complained about his behavior would “pay so dearly that she’ll wish she’d never been born.”
The narrative was shaped to depict Mackris as promiscuous, but eventually O’Reilly payed $9 million to settle the suit, according to The Times.
Diamond is a former Fox Business Network host who asserted that O’Reilly had also sexually harassed her over the phone. She had recordings of the conversations and in 2011 when she was told her contract would not be renewed, her lawyers brought her complaints to the company.
According to The Times, she left Fox with a confidentiality agreement and the paid settlement.
Bernstein complained about O’Reilly’s harassment in 2002, though the alleged harassment was not sexual, the Daily Mail reported, and received a small payout.
In response to the defamation claims, O’Reilly’s lawyer Fredric S. Newman said that his client hadn’t named one of his accusers when he said that certain individuals were out to take him down.
“Bill O’Reilly has never mentioned the plaintiff’s name publicly in any context,” he said in a statement, according to the Daily Beast.
Nancy Erika Smith who represents Mackris, Diamond and Bernstein also represented Gretchen Carlson in her lawsuit against Fox News, who is also a defendant on this defamation suit.
“They are tired of being smeared with lies by a bully who thinks that his victims are afraid to answer to them,” she said about her clients. “They are standing up for the truth, joining the many voices of brave women who are no longer tolerating abuse or being silenced.”
After O’Reilly was fired from Fox, he told Matt Lauer on the Today Show, “If you look at the totality, this was a hit job — a political and financial hit job,” Deadline reported.
According to the Daily Mail, O’Reilly has paid over $45 million to six women over allegations of misconduct.
He has said in the past that he settled these cases so that they would not come out in public and put stress on his teenage son and daughter.
“There is ample evidence that Fox News, with the complicity of top executives, enabled the abuse of women for many years than silenced them with non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement clauses,” Smith said in a media release.
Smith’s law partner Neil Mullin expanded, saying that Fox “should release all victims from their NDAs and let the truth out. It is cowardly to publicly attack these women knowing they have been subjected to contractual provisions requiring absolute silence.” (For more from the author of “It’s Not Over Yet: Two More Accusers Come out Against Bill O’Reilly” please click HERE)