An associate producer of the top-rated “The O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel has filed a sexual harassment suit against the show’s host, Bill O’Reilly.
Andrea Mackris, 33, filed the suit today at the State Supreme Court in Manhattan. It also names as defendants News Corporation, 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, FNC and Westwood One Inc.
In her suit, Mackris alleges she has been the subject of quid pro quo sexual harassment at the hands of O’Reilly and has endured a “sexually hostile work environment” perpetrated by O’Reilly and other supervisors and employees at Fox.
She claims during the years she has been at Fox, she has been a victim of “explicit, rampant, pervasive and continued sex discrimination and sexual harassment. …”
Mackris worked for Fox from 2000 to 2004 and then early this year moved to CNN. She then asked O’Reilly if she could return to Fox and did so in July. She says the harassment occurred from May 2002 to January 2004 and then again beginning in July of this year when she returned to Fox.
In the suit, which includes no specific amount of damages, Mackris describes O’Reilly as someone who can be “paternal and engaging at one instant, tyrannical and menacing the next.”
The court document, posted on The Smoking Gun website [Warning: Complaint contains explicit language], describes conversations O’Reilly allegedly had with Mackris about vibrators, phone sex, masturbation and specific fantasies. She says at a dinner engagement she had in 2002 during which O’Reilly raised her salary, the host offered to have phone sex with her. Mackris claims she rebuffed his advance.
Mackris also relays other instances when O’Reilly allegedly sexual harassed her, saying he told her about his losing his virginity to two “really wild” Scandinavian stewardess at JFK Airport.
At another dinner, according to the complaint, “O’Reilly repeatedly begged plaintiff to have telephone sex with him that night. Plaintiff refused.”
Mackris claims in the suit that in April she agreed she would return to Fox from CNN, but only if O’Reilly no longer engaged in “inappropriate conduct.” She says at the time O’Reilly told her the following about the possibility of any woman accusing him of harassment:
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. And besides, she wouldn’t be able to afford the lawyers I can or endure it financially as long as I can. And nobody would believe her. It would be her word against mine, and who are they going to believe? Me or some unstable woman making outrageous accusations. They’d see her as some psycho, someone unstable. Besides, I never make the mistake of picking unstable crazy girls like that.
Mackris returned to Fox on July 6, the suit says, after she had worked out a deal with O’Reilly to match the salary she was making at CNN – upwards of $90,000 a year.
According to the suit, On Aug. 2, O’Reilly called Mackris at home and “launched into a vile and degrading monologue about sex” – “It became apparent Defendant was masturbating as he spoke,” the complaint says.
The complaint further describes an alleged call while the two were covering the Republican National Convention when O’Reilly was to have again spoken lewdly on the phone with Mackris, describing a fantasy about the two of them taking a shower together on a Caribbean vacation. The description, quoted in the complaint, was sexually graphic.
“You know, Mackris, in these days of your celibacy and your hibernation, this is good for you to have a little fantasy outlet. …” O’Reilly is quoted as having said.
Earlier today, O’Reilly filed suit against Mackris and her attorney, Benedict P. Morelli, claiming she attempted to extort $60 million from the TV personality in exchange for not going public with her accusations.
The complaint describes Morelli’s demand that O’Reilly pay the pair “nothing less than $60 million.” In addition, Morelli allegedly claimed he “wanted to punish not only O’Reilly, but Fox News.”
“Their demand is blackmail, pure and simple,” O’Reilly’s complaint states.
“As a public figure, I have received many threats. But enough is enough … the threats stop now. I will not give in to extortion,” O’Reilly said in the statement.
According to the complaint, on Sept. 7, Mackris responded to a friend’s e-mail about how things were going now that she had returned to Fox. She wrote:
“To answer your question, things are: wonderful, amazing, fun, creative, invigorating, secure, well-managed, challenging, interesting, fun and surrounded by really good, fun people. I’m home and I’ll never leave again.”