Fox News talk show host sued over explicit phone calls

For those unfamiliar with Bill O'Reilly, the right-wing attack dog who hosts a popular talk show on Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, a collection of adjectives might help: aggressive, opinionated, conservative, arrogant. He also claims to be a proponent of family values.

All of which has added to the delight with which liberals, Democrats and all others opposed to Mr O'Reilly and his cohorts at Fox have savoured this week's lewd and colourful allegations in which the talk show host has been accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a female producer at the station.

Andrea Mackris, 33, has filed a lawsuit against the married Mr O'Reilly, accusing him of making a series of sexually explicit phonecalls to her during which he allegedly masturbated, asked her to buy a vibrator and fantasised about the two of them taking a shower while on holiday in the Caribbean. In the 22-page complaint attached to the lawsuit, Ms Mackris alleges that Mr O'Reilly, her boss, said to her: "Well if I took you down there [to the Caribbean] then I'd want to take a shower with you right away, that would be the first thing I'd do, yeah. We'd check into the room and we would order up some room service and uh, you'd definitely get two wines into you. As quickly as I could... I would get 'em into you... maybe intravenously get those glasses of wine into you."

On other occasions he allegedly told Ms Mackris of trysts with a pair of "really wild" Scandinavian airline stewardesses and a "girl" at a Thai sex show.

While people no doubt feel sympathy for Ms Mackris, one senses that the huge interest this story has generated is the result largely of the salacious pleasure in seeing Mr O'Reilly - widely despised by liberals and those on the left - squirm. In addition, thanks to website, people have been able to read the full details of what the Fox News man allegedly said to Ms Mackris. Indeed, so much of the alleged conversation appears verbatim that it suggests a tape recorder was used. Either that or her shorthand is very good.

Mr O'Reilly, who once on his show berated a young man, Jeremy Glick, whose father died in the 9/11 attacks, has responded to the allegations in his usual attack-dog manner. Apparently trying to pre-empt the lawsuit, Mr O'Reilly fired off an action of his own, alleging that Ms Mackris and her lawyer, Benedict Morelli, were guilty of attempting to extort $60m (£33m) from him. In a statement he said: "As a public figure, I have received many threats. But enough is enough ... the threats stop now. I will not give in to extortion."

In addition to defending himself on his own show, he also appeared on ABC television to promote a moralistic children's book he has written, The O'Reilly Factor for Kids: A Survival Guide for America's Families. While being interviewed, Mr O'Reilly said: "If I have to go down, I'm willing to do it. I'm going to take a stand. I'm a big mouth on the air and I'm a big mouth off the air." Mr O'Reilly's attorney, Ronald Green, has refused to deny that the sexual conversations took place, but said that "snippets could have been taken out of context".

Ms Mackris worked as an associate producer on The O'Reilly Factor from April 2000 until January 2004. Her lawsuit states that she left to work for rival CNN in early 2004 but returned to Fox in July after her boss at CNN was fired for sexual harassment.

Her lawyer, Mr Morelli, who used to appear on Fox News, told The Washington Post: "Guys like O'Reilly who like to espouse what right-wing Republicans espouse about family values shouldn't be doing stuff like this. The man knows he did it. He finally got it through his thick skull that he did it, and he's not going to get away with it."

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Shine Night Walk 2014 - 'On the night' volunteer roles

Unpaid Voluntary Work : Cancer Research UK: We need motivational volunteers to...

Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable)

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable...

Senior IT Trainer - Buckinghamshire - £250 - £350 p/d

£200 - £300 per day: Ashdown Group: IT Trainer - Marlow, Buckinghamshire - £25...

Education Recruitment Consultant- Learning Support

£18000 - £30000 per annum + Generous commission scheme: AER Teachers: Thames T...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star