TV Article

Bill of Goods?

O'Reilly countersues sex harassment complaint. A producer accuses the cable news star of harassing her with unwanted phone sex; O'Reilly accuses her of extortion

A producer on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News program filed a sexual harassment suit against the producer on Wednesday, and O'Reilly filed his own suit, accusing the producer of extortion. In her suit (posted on thesmokinggun.com), the producer, Andrea Mackris, claimed that O'Reilly suggested she buy a vibrator, and had three sexually charged phone conversations with her. One call, she alleges, ended with O'Reilly saying, ''Next time you'll come up to my hotel room and we'll make this happen.''

In his suit against Mackris and her lawyer, Benedict Morelli, O'Reilly claims that the pair asked for $60 million in exchange for not filing the harassment suit, according to the Associated Press. O'Reilly also accused Morelli of having partisan motivations, noting that the lawyer is a Democratic donor, while O'Reilly's show is popular with Republicans. Morelli said his political affiliation had nothing to do with the case.

Meanwhile, O'Reilly's lawyer, Ronald Green, asked that Mackris release audiotapes of their phone conversations, while her lawyer wouldn't say whether such tapes exist. On The O'Reilly Factor Wednesday night, the host called the lawsuit ''the single most evil thing I have ever experienced,'' adding, ''These people have picked the wrong guy.''

Originally posted Oct 14, 2004