In a complaint filed yesterday, a former Fox News producer alleged that Fox News host Bill O’Reilly violated the terms of a confidential settlement agreement when he made public statements indicating that harassment claims against him were mertitless, and merely reflected attempts to extort money from him.  According to the complaint, O’Reilly settled discrimination claims brought by the plaintiff in 2002.  That agreement included non-disparagement and non-defamation clauses, which plaintiff argues were violated when O’Reilly recently described the claims as “politically and financially motivated” and the complainants as “smear merchants.”

The complaint includes claims for breach of contract, defamation, and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing against both O’Reilly and Fox News. The complaint also includes a claim for tortious interference against O’Reilly.  The plaintiff seeks damages for the breach, as well as reputational, economic, emotional, and punitive damages.

The case is currently pending before Judge Batts.