(CBS/AP) Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly said Thursday he and a former producer of his talk show have agreed to settle their legal dispute over her allegations of sexual harassment, and his accusations that she was trying to shake him down.
“This brutal ordeal is now officially over, and I will never speak of it again,” he said on his talk show, “The O’Reilly Factor.”
Andrea Mackris, 33, who was a producer on the show, filed a lawsuit against the top-rated TV host Oct. 13, alleging O’Reilly made a series of explicit phone calls to her, advised her to use a vibrator and told her about sexual fantasies involving her.
The New York Daily News, citing unidentified sources, reported that O’Reilly had agreed to pay Mackris anywhere from $2 million to $10 million. Separately, the New York Post said it was believed that O’Reilly paid “multimillions of dollars” to settle the suit.
Earlier that day, O’Reilly, 55 and married with two children, had filed a lawsuit accusing Mackris and her lawyer of trying to extort $60 million in “hush money” to make the sexual harassment case quietly go away.
O’Reilly is host of the top-rated prime-time cable news program, and he’s seen his ratings go up by 30 percent since the case was filed.