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O'Reilly and accuser settle suit


Bill O'Reilly, host of
Bill O'Reilly hosts the Fox News Channel show "The O'Reilly Factor."
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly and his former associate producer, Andrea Mackris, have agreed to settle their dispute over her allegations that the television personality harassed her sexually.

"It's over, and I'm happy," the 33-year-old graduate of Columbia Graduate School of Journalism told CNN, in whose New York bureau she once worked. "I can't say anything else, but I do appreciate everybody."

"The parties regret that this matter has caused tremendous pain, and they have agreed to settle," said a statement from the 55-year-old talk show host's law firm, Epstein Becker & Green. "All cases and claims have been withdrawn, and all parties have agreed there was no wrongdoing whatsoever by Mr. O'Reilly, Ms. Mackris or Ms. Mackris' counsel, Benedict P. Morelli and associates."

O'Reilly's countersuit alleging extortion was also dropped.

The statement did not say whether a financial settlement was involved.

"We now withdraw any assertion that any extortion by Ms. Mackris, Mr. Morelli, or Morelli and associates occurred," the statement said. "Out of respect for their families and privacy, all parties and their representatives have agreed that all information relating to the cases shall remain confidential."

In a case filed earlier this month, Mackris alleged that O'Reilly, who is married, made explicit phone calls to her in which he recommended she use a vibrator, described sexual fantasies involving her and masturbated.

The specificity and length of the quotations cited in the lawsuit led readers to infer that she had taped the conversations.

Just weeks ago, speaking on "The O'Reilly Factor" about the lawsuit, O'Reilly said, "This is the single most evil thing I have ever experienced, and I've seen a lot."


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