Fox News talk show host sued over explicit phone calls
Sunday 17 October 2004
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 TheSmokinggun.com 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."
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 4 Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Women in Turkey have a laugh in public at the deputy Prime Minister's expense
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Australian model Robyn Lawley stages naked protest against huge coal mine seven times the size of Sydney Harbour
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
Unpaid Voluntary Work : Cancer Research UK: We need motivational volunteers to...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable...
£200 - £300 per day: Ashdown Group: IT Trainer - Marlow, Buckinghamshire - £25...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + Generous commission scheme: AER Teachers: Thames T...