O'Reilly Lawyer: 'Put Up or Shut Up'

ByABC News via logo
October 20, 2004, 8:03 AM

NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2004 -- -- Bill O'Reilly's attorney in the talk show host's sexual harassment lawsuit says he wants O'Reilly's accuser to "put up or shut up."

Ronald Green says O'Reilly's accuser, Fox News Channel producer Andrea Mackris, should reveal whatever proof she has, including any recordings, of alleged sexually charged conversations between herself and O'Reilly.

"Let me say first that we don't know if there have been recordings. We're the ones who have gone to court to tell Andrea Mackris and her lawyers to put up or shut up, not leak selected segments of conversations which may or may not have taken place," Green said on ABC News' "Good Morning America."

Mackris, 33, and her attorney have been ordered to appear for a hearing in New York state Supreme Court on Friday to divulge whether such tapes exist and "show cause" why they should not be opened to examination by lawyers for O'Reilly and Fox News Channel.

O'Reilly, 55, announced his lawsuit against Mackris and her lawyer, Benedict Morelli, last Wednesday, just hours before Mackris' sexual harassment suit against O'Reilly was filed. O'Reilly's suit accuses Mackris and Morelli of extortion and suggests they were motivated by their own political beliefs and greed.

"They insisted on $60 million of hush money and our response was a lawsuit.This is an extortion case. She's a defendant. We sued her and her lawyers for threatening to extort money from Bill O'Reilly, Fox and News Corp. It was only after we did that that they sued Bill O'Reilly and Fox for these allegations," Green said.

Mackris' suit accuses O'Reilly, who is married with two children, of repeatedly pressuring her to engage in phone sex.

Green says he believes Mackris, who had been a producer on the O'Reilly show, is in need of money.

"What we do know is that she was a financially challenged woman, maybe financially desperate when she told co-workers she intended to bring down Bill O'Reilly and Fox, get $1 million from them and buy the apartment in New York City that she always wanted and couldn't afford," Green said.

Mackris has said that she was harassed by O'Reilly during phone calls with the popular talk show host. She says the calls grew increasingly worse in the months after she returned to Fox, after being employed by CNN.

"It crossed the line when I got back the last time, when I came back in July. It went much further than it ever had," Mackris said last week on "Good Morning America." "The language was ratcheted up. He pushed the boundaries further and further and further from what I had already established. I came back because he agreed to not ever talk to me that way again."

The TV producer filed new accusations Tuesday, alleging she has lost her job because she complained to Fox about her alleged mistreatment. Fox denies that Mackris has been fired or retaliated against in any way.