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O’Reilly Hit with Sexual-Harassment Suit

10/14/2004 3:26 AM Eastern

The Fox News Channel producer sued for extortion Wednesday by The O'Reilly Factor host Bill O'Reilly fired back with a sexual-harassment suit of her own.

According to Web site The Smoking Gun (www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/1013043mackris1.html), Andrea Mackris’ suit against O’Reilly -- filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York -- alleged that “he subjected her to repeated instances of sexual harassment and spoke often, and explicitly, to her about phone sex, vibrators, threesomes, masturbation, the loss of his virginity and sexual fantasies.”

O'Reilly filed a lawsuit earlier Wednesday in Nassau County (N.Y.) Supreme Court against a Manhattan attorney; his law firm, Morelli & Associates; and then-unnamed Mackris for attempting to extort $60 million from him.

According to Fox News, Manhattan attorney Benedict P. Morelli and the network employee threatened to sue O’Reilly and the network, claiming that O'Reilly allegedly engaged in offensive conversations with the employee.

The employee worked for O'Reilly for four years before moving to Cable News Network earlier this year. Then, after just five months at CNN, the employee asked O'Reilly to return to Fox News and did so in July, Fox News said.

O'Reilly’s complaint alleged that Morelli and the employee engaged in an extortion attempt by threatening to file a well-publicized lawsuit and demanding an exorbitant financial settlement for hush money.

It went on to describe Morelli's demand that O'Reilly pay the pair "nothing less than $60 million," with Morelli adding that he "wanted to punish not only O'Reilly, but Fox News."

"As a public figure, I have received many threats,” O’Reilly said in a prepared statement. “But enough is enough: The threats stop now. I will not give in to extortion."

O'Reilly is seeking unspecified damages, and he said he would donate "100%" of any monetary damages he might be awarded to charity.

In addition to the extortion lawsuit, O'Reilly has also sued Morelli, Morelli & Associates and the employee for intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful interference with contractual relations, alleging that their accusations threatened to impair his reputation and standing with his employers and the public.

September