A former Fox News anchor has filed a lawsuit against Bill O’Reilly, claiming that the former star Fox host defamed her when he defended himself against sexual harassment accusations.
Laurie Dhue, who worked for the cable news network from 2000 to 2008, was one of five women who received settlements related to O’Reilly’s actions and behavior at the company, the New York times reported in April 2017.
In the lawsuit, which she filed in federal district court in Manhattan, Dhue points to a series of public statements that O’Reilly made after the Times article ran, saying the accusations were false and made maliciously.
According to the complaint, O’Reilly stated in April 2017 that he parted ways with Fox due to “unfounded claims.” In June, he blamed the allegations against him on “far-left progressive organizations that are bent on destroying anybody with whom they disagree.” In October, he said that he “didn’t do anything wrong.” He also said that he had never had any complaints filed against him in more than 40 years of work.
Dhue, who describes herself as a journalist and an advocate for alcohol and substance abuse recovery, maintains that these statements defamed her and harmed her professional life.
Frederic S. Newman, an attorney for O’Reilly, said in a statement that Dhue’s lawsuit had “absolutely no merit.”
“Mr. O’Reilly has never mentioned Dhue, and any attention she has received has been the result of her own actions. Mr. O’Reilly will defend himself in court fully and aggressively against all unfounded, opportunistic claims, and he will seek all appropriate legal remedies as well,” the statement read.
Three other women who have reached settlements with O’Reilly have filed a similar lawsuit against him.
“The irony of all this post-settlement litigation is that O’Reilly — as well is his former (and late) boss Roger Ailes — expertly used non-disclosure/non-disparagement clauses plus stacks of money to enable and excuse his workplace behavior,” The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple wrote of that lawsuit. “Yet O’Reilly lacks the sophistication — which is to say, he won’t shut up — necessary to keep the whole putrid operation glued together.”