October 20, 2004
NEW YORK - A Fox News Channel producer who filed a sex harassment lawsuit against talk show host Bill O'Reilly filed new accusations Tuesday, alleging she has lost her job because she complained to Fox about her alleged mistreatment.
A lawyer for O'Reilly and Fox denied that Andrea Mackris has been fired or retaliated against in any way.
Mackris, 33, said that by Sept. 29 she had told top executives of News Corp., parent company of the Fox News Channel, about the alleged harassment and hostile work environment to which she was subjected while working for O'Reilly's show, "The O'Reilly Factor."
Mackris, an associate producer on the show, says in court papers the executives told her a few days later to call in sick while they investigated her complaint. Since Oct. 5, when Mackris met with Fox lawyers, Fox officials have not discussed her job status with her, court papers say.
The amended lawsuit says Fox's "removal" of Mackris from her job "is in direct retaliation for her complaints of sexual harassment and a sexually hostile work environment at defendants Fox." It is a violation of New York law to fire an employee who complains of sexual harassment.
Mackris alleged in her lawsuit last week that O'Reilly, 55 and married with two children, subjected her repeatedly to off-color sexual remarks and telephone sex talk.
Ronald Green, a lawyer for O'Reilly and Fox, on Tuesday dismissed Mackris' complaints about her job status. "Fox is still paying her her full salary," he said.
However, Green added, last week Mackris inexplicably sent an e-mail to friends saying, "I'm no longer at Fox." He also said Mackris went to her office and removed her belongings without being asked to by anyone at Fox.
Green said O'Reilly "denies that he has done anything that rises to the level of unlawful sexual harassment."
Hours before Mackris' lawyer, Benedict Morelli, filed her lawsuit on Oct. 13, Green filed suit in Nassau County, where O'Reilly lives, accusing Mackris and Morelli of trying to extort $60 million from O'Reilly and Fox.