A federal judge ruled against O’Reilly’s motion to keep the settlements sealed and now we see why. Among the revelations in the agreements, O’Reilly hired a private investigator to spy on and investigate his accuser and under the terms of the agreement, she was ordered to lie, even under oath. The settlement reached with Andrea Mackris, a former Fox News producer who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against O’Reilly in 2004, required her to “lie — even in legal proceedings or under oath — if any evidence becomes public, by calling evidence ‘counterfeit’ or ‘forgeries.’
This is all part of a defamation lawsuit brought by multiple women who had settled with O’Reilly. According to today’s filing, all plaintiffs were “forced to relinquish audio and videotapes recording O’Reilly’s harassment and abuse.”
One incredible and sadly unethical fact that came to light was the filing asserts that Mackris’ attorney, Benedict Morelli, switched sides and agreed to become O’Reilly’s lawyer while negotiating the agreement. O’Reilly also hired well-known loudmouthed Fox contributor and longtime private investigator Bo Dietl to investigate Mackris. The filing states that Dietl and others “surveilled, investigated and amassed information about Ms. Mackris, including tapes, photographs, emails, letters, calendars, and diaries.”Dietl told CNN he was hired by a law firm representing O’Reilly and not by O’Reilly. We’re not sure why he thinks that makes a difference.
Rebecca Gomez Diamond, Rachel Witrleif Bernstein and Andrea Mackris, are asking for damages for emotional and reputational harm, among other things.
“They are tired of being smeared with lies by a bully who thinks that his victims are afraid to answer them,” Nancy Erika Smith, one of the attorneys representing the women, said in a statement. “They are standing up for the truth, joining the many voices of brave women who are no longer tolerating abuse or being silenced.”