Report: Women suing Bill O’Reilly for defamation want previous settlements made publicly available

The women who are suing former Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly for defamation are working to ensure that their previous settlements with him are made part of the public record, notes CNN.

Andrew Bourne, O’Reilly’s attorney, has reportedly requested that those documents be redacted and filed under seal.

According to the media outlet, lawyers for the three plaintiffs, all of whom say O’Reilly broke their agreements’ non-disparagement clauses, fileda motion on Tuesday to prevent that from happening.

It reads, in part, that the request made on behalf of O’Reilly “should be denied outright because he has made no effort to bear his burden of proof and cited no law to support his extraordinary request.”

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“Courts generally do not allow the filing of documents under seal absent extraordinary circumstances,” the motion further notes. “Settlement agreements in which the parties agree to confidentiality do not merit filing under seal unless a compelling need is shown.”

NBC News reports that the December 2017 defamation lawsuit filed against O’Reilly originally had one plaintiff, Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, who said she’d been harassed by the commentator and reached a settlement in 2002, only to have it violated later.

Not long after, Andrea Mackris and Rebecca Gomez Diamond joined that legal action, asserting that O’Reilly had breached their arrangements, made due to matters involving sexual harassment, as well.

“The New York Times reported in April that O’Reilly, at the time the leading anchor in Fox News’ prime-time lineup, had settled five separate claims of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior to the tune of $13 million during his 21-year run with the network,” notes Politico.

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