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O'Reilly Settles Harassment Suit

10/29/2004 3:38 AM Eastern

Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly has settled a sexual-harassment lawsuit against him and dropped his extortion lawsuit against his accuser and her lawyer, AP reported.

“This brutal ordeal is now officially over, and I will never speak of it again,” O'Reilly said on Thursday night's edition of his talk show, The O'Reilly Factor.

He continued, “This matter has caused enormous pain, but I had to protect my family, and I did. All I can say to you is: Please do not believe everything you hear and read.”

Both sides have agreed to keep the settlement details confidential, according to AP.

Andrea Mackris, a former producer on The O’Reilly Factor, filed her suit against O’Reilly Oct. 13, alleging 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 had filed a lawsuit earlier that day against Mackris’ attorney, Benedict P. Morelli; his law firm, Morelli & Associates; and Mackris for attempting to extort $60 million from him.

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.”

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