Two women who previously settled sexual harassment claims against Bill O'Reilly are now suing the former Fox News host for defamation, the New York Times reports. Former Fox News employees Andrea Mackris and Rebecca Gomez Diamond have joined the defamation suit filed against O'Reilly and Fox News earlier this month by Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, another former Fox News employee who settled with O'Reilly in 2002. At issue is O'Reilly publicly saying that allegations against him are a "political and financial hit job" and that he "never mistreated anyone." That's incorrect, according to the lawsuit. "He is well aware of the irrefutable evidence of his harassment, abuse, and mistreatment," the lawsuit states.
A lawyer for the three women says "they are tired of being smeared with lies by a bully." They are seeking an apology and acknowledgment of the validity of their allegations from O'Reilly, to get out of the confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses of their settlements, and damages. O'Reilly's lawyer says the lawsuit has "no merit" and that O'Reilly "never mentioned any of the plaintiffs" in his public comments, CNN reports. The women's lawsuit also names Rupert Murdoch, who in a recent interview dismissed much of the alleged sexual harassment at Fox News as "a bit of flirting." According to Politico, Murdoch also said last week that the allegations against Fox News are "largely political." (Read more Bill O'Reilly stories.)