A detailed #MeToo Facebook post about former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly had led to a $5 million lawsuit.
Michael Panter, a former New Jersey state legislator, posted on Tuesday about his ex’s experience while working at Fox News with host Bill O’Reilly. Not only was she a victim of O’Reilly’s harassment, Panter alleges, but O’Reilly once asked her to give him dirt on another woman accusing him of inappropriate behavior.
O’Reilly responded Friday with a New York Supreme Court summons that sought $5 million in damages for the “publicly-available social media post.”
The summons reads, “Plaintiff (O’Reilly) seeks damages for the public hatred, ridicule, disgrace, and permanent harm to his professional and personal reputations…”
In Panter’s post, which is still up, he notes that he wanted to share the story because of the #MeToo movement, a hashtag victims of sexual harassment have been using to raise awareness following the dozens of allegations made against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. He claims his ex, who is bound by a non-disclosure agreement, was pressured by O’Reilly to give up the information because the woman had filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the Fox News staple.
“He asked if anything was known about her sex life. He asked if she used any illegal drugs. He also asked if anything was known about her financial situation and marriage,” Panter wrote. See the full post, below:
The allegations in Panter’s post come the same week that O’Reilly claimed he’d never had any coworkers file complaints against him. He spoke to the New York Times after the news outlet reported a new $32-million sexual harassment settlement.