Former Fox News anchor Dhue files defamation suit against O'Reilly

Former Fox News anchor Dhue files defamation suit against O'Reilly
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Former Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue has filed a defamation lawsuit against former network star Bill O'Reilly, accusing the 68-year-old host of mounting a "smear campaign" against her.

Dhue claims that O'Reilly made false allegations about her following a New York Times bombshell report nearly one year ago saying she had received a $1 million settlement over sexual harassment allegations against him and then-CEO and chairman Roger Ailes. 

Dhue, who worked for Fox News as an anchor from 2000 to 2008, also appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" on a weekly basis for several years as a guest.

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"O'Reilly published false statements about Dhue — as well as the other women — calling her a liar, swearing that her allegations were fabricated in an effort to obtain a settlement, falsely asserting that her purported claims against O'Reilly were politically motivated, and lying by saying that he only paid settlements to avoid having his family go through litigation, not because he had engaged in the claimed sexual misconduct," according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Federal Court.

The New York Times reported in April that O'Reilly paid five women, including Dhue, $13 million over allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.

"O'Reilly ensured that these statements were distributed widely, attempting to sacrifice the character reputation of Dhue and the other women mentioned,” the suit says.

O'Reilly, who previously hosted "Inside Edition," called the Times story at the time a “malicious smear” and has since denied all allegations against him. He was fired from the network on April 19 after his program lost more than 50 advertisers. 

In October, it was also revealed through a New York Times report that O’Reilly had paid $32 million to settle a sexual harassment claim by former Fox analyst Lis Wiehl. That reported payment took place one month before the network extended his contract.

O'Reilly's attorney pushed back on Dhue's lawsuit Thursday.

"Dhue's filing has absolutely no merit," O'Reilly's attorney, Fredric S. Newman, wrote in a statement to The Hill. "Mr. O'Reilly has never mentioned Dhue, and any attention she has received has been the result of her own actions."

"Mr. O'Reilly will defend himself in court fully and aggressively against all unfounded, opportunistic claims, and he will seek all appropriate legal remedies as well," he added.

Updated: 4:35 p.m.