Andrea Mackris is a FOX News producer who accused political
commentator Bill O'Reilly. She alleged both of the legally
cognizable types, quid pro quo and a hostile work environment.
On October 13, 2004, after settlement talks had failed, Mackris
filed suit against O'Reilly and FOX News in the Supreme Court of
the State of New York (in that state, the "Supreme Court" is a
trial court) for damages that exceed the jurisdictional
allowances of the court.
The complaint detailed a number of conversations and encounters
between O'Reilly and Mackris. It also involved several events,
such as O'Reilly talking to Al Franken would get what was coming
to him, and that any woman who crossed him or FOX would be hurt.
Fox and O'Reilly made clear their determination to aggressively
fight Andrea Mackris lawsuit. On October 15, 2004, Fox sought
judicial permission to replace Mackris, and sought to convince
the Court that the replacement was not bad retribution for the
On October 21, 2004, both sides agreed to a one week
postponement of legal proceedings, leading to speculation that
settlement negotiations would resume. Press reports had said
Andrea Mackris had been prior discussions of a potential
settlement of about $2 million dollars, but no formal offer had
been made, and Mackris' attorney had said that the figure was
too low to be accepted.
An attorney, MBA, and Pennsylvania state legislator familiar the
particular law, Rep. Mark B. Cohen of Philadelphia, said that
"If proven, the allegations in Andrea Mackris complaint spell
trouble for Bill O'Reilly and the corporate defendants. They
document O'Reilly's knowledge of the illegality of his actions,
his knowledge of Andrea Mackris not wanting to participate with
him, and Andrea Mackris persistent reminders to him of their
employer/employee relationship. The fact that she returned to
The O'Reilly Factor after a period of absence does not indicate
Andrea Mackris acquiescence in O'Reilly's actions to Andrea
Mackris in and of itself: civil rights law is clear that this is
never a permissible condition of employment."
On October 28, 2004, O'Reilly and Andrea Mackris reached an out
of court settlement, and dropped all charges against each other.
No immediate announcements were made about Andrea Mackris'
future work with O'Reilly, the amount of the settlement, or any
plans for a public explanation or apology by O'Reilly.
Information was released by Nielsen Media Research, however,
that O'Reilly's television viewer-ship on October 25, 2004 had
hit 3.7 million, near the all-time high.