In 2004, Bill O’Reilly made a deal with one of the several women he sexually harassed: $9 million dollars for her silence.
Seventeen years later, Andrea Mackris, who worked with O’Reilly at Fox News and collected incriminating evidence against him, wants to speak out; O’Reilly has gone to court to gag her.
On Wednesday, Mackris was scheduled to be a guest on The View. But according to The Daily Beast, O’Reilly and his legal team effectively blocked the TV appearance, invoking the non-disclosure cause in their settlement.
“We were notified late yesterday about a temporary restraining order issued by a court against Andrea Mackris. We decided to postpone her interview pending further developments,” an ABC spokesperson said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “We look forward to welcoming her to The View at a later date.”
On Tuesday night, O’Reilly’s lawyers petitioned the New York State Supreme Court in Nassau County and argued that “Mackris intends to further materially breach her legal obligations tomorrow morning, live on national television.” They insisted she was determined to do “significant irreparable harm” to the disgraced provocateur. The court agreed.
“I hope the days of the law allowing the silencing of women are over. I will continue to fight for my voice,” said Mackris to The Daily Beast. She had previously told the publication, “If I have to pay a breach, it’s less than the cost of the past 17 years. I’ll tell you that I welcome the risk because this is intolerable.”
Backed up by audio recordings of O’Reilly’s late-night phone calls, the suit detailed the Fox News star’s persistent and menacing verbal assaults during her nearly four years of working for him. They included unwelcome demands for phone sex and mutual masturbation, as well as O’Reilly’s infamous alleged fantasy of soaping her down in the shower with either a “loofah” or a “falafel thing.”
Mackris claims her lawyers forced her to sign the non-disclosure agreement. She recalls a member of her legal team saying, ‘No one believes you, and you’ll never be hired again, and if you walk out of this room like this, no other lawyers will work with you. You didn’t hire us to go to trial, you hired us to make him stop.’
But Mackris is finally ready to tell her story.
“I may not get the past 17 years back,” she told The Daily Beast, “but there is one way I can retrieve my power from this storm of lies, loss, greed, and grief. It’s the same thing I did back in 2004 before Fox, Bill O’Reilly, and their teams of willing executioners bound me to a contract that promises to ruin whatever is left of me if I dare do it again. Tell the truth. Walk free.”