O’Reilly, Mackris Settle Lawsuits

Oct 28, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The juicy war of words and legal actions between Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly and producer Andrea Mackris ended Thursday with the announcement of a confidential settlement that absolves the principals of wrongdoing and that withdraws all claims.

The deal was reached after more than a week of negotiations and less than a day before a hearing scheduled in a Long Island courtroom on Mr. O’Reilly’s demand that Ms. Mackris be forced to produce any tapes she might have made of telephone conversations in which she claimed he talked dirty to her.

Ms. Mackris had accused Mr. O’Reilly of sexual harassment in a suit filed Oct. 13. But in a pre-emptive suit filed just hours earlier, Mr. O’Reilly accused Ms. Mackris and her attorney, Benedict Morelli, of extortion and claimed the two were seeking as much as $60 million from him.

The statement from Mr. O’Reilly’s attorney, Ron Green of Epstein Becker & Green, said: “The parties regret that this matter has caused tremendous pain, and they have agreed to settle. All cases and claims have been withdrawn and all parties have agreed there was no wrongdoing whatsoever by Mr. O’Reilly, Ms. Mackris or Ms. Mackris’ counsel, Benedict P. Morelli & Associates. We now withdraw any assertion that any extortion by Ms. Mackris, Mr. Morelli or Morelli & Associates occurred.

“Out of respect for their families and privacy, all parties and their representatives have agreed that all information relating to the cases shall remain confidential,” the statement said.