Talks between the FOX News commentator and his accuser could head off courtroom battle

By Todd Peterson
Updated October 25, 2004 08:00 AM

Attorneys for Andreas Mackris, a former associate producer for FOX News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, and the show’s star Bill O’Reilly ended last week’s legal drama with closed-door meetings to keep their respective cases out of court.

Last week, Mackris and her attorney filed suit against O’Reilly claiming the news commentator repeatedly harassed the associate producer with sexually explicit telephone calls and language. O’Reilly preemptively responded by filing a suit of his own claiming that Mackris’s charges were politically motivated and that she was trying to extort $60 million in “hush money.”

Lawyers for both sides wrapped up the heated week with meetings after agreeing to postpone a hearing on a court motion to produce recordings of the alleged telephone conversations, Reuters reports.

According to FOX News, Mackris is on paid leave from The O’Reilly Factor. However, the associate producer has said the network is retaliating against her for the lawsuit.

There was no immediate word on the progress of the negotiations.