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Bill O’Reilly is looking to enforce the confidentiality provision of a 2004 settlement agreement and stop his former producer Andrea Mackris from disparaging him in interviews.
After hearing that Mackris was scheduled to appear on The View, and getting an emailed invitation from the ABC talk show to submit a statement, the former Fox News host rushed to a New York court for a temporary restraining order. On Wednesday, the judge ordered Mackris to show cause by Monday why a TRO should not be entered, and in the interim, directed that she should not engage in any conduct in breach of the agreement.
The dispute comes after Mackris broke her long silence to recount sexual harassment allegations against O’Reilly. Mackris spoke to the Daily Beast, and specifically, Diana Falzone, who also once worked at Fox News and had sued the cable news channel.
Mackris now says she never wanted to take $9 million and instead hold O’Reilly accountable, but she did make a deal. Read that full settlement agreement below.
In a bid for a gag order (read here), O’Reilly’s lawyer tells the court that Mackris’ “statements thus far have already resulted in significant harm that cannot be undone. Further, she has evinced a clear intent to further that harm to the greatest degree possible, and to do so imminently.”
Orders that stop speech are incredibly rare, as prior restraints are constitutionally frowned upon. Last year, a New York appeals court lifted one against Simon & Schuster over Mary Trump’s book about her uncle, although it left in place restraints against Mary Trump herself pursuant to an agreement. The intersection between NDAs and free speech has also been a subject of appellate scrutiny in recent years.
According to the Daily Beast, thanks to O’Reilly’s move and the court’s swift order, the scheduled appearance by Mackris today on The View was postponed.
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