Earlier this week another woman came forward with allegations that Bill O’Reilly harassed her while she was working at 21st Century Fox. The woman called the Fox hotline and spoke through her attorney, Lisa Bloom, and on Thursday she went on The View to speak publicly about her allegations for the first time.
Perquita Burgess claims Bill O’Reilly sexually assault her and even called her “hot chocolate” when she briefly worked at Fox News. Burgess had initially kept her identity a secret, but came forward on an interview with The View Thursday, April 20.
She first voiced her allegations on April 18. A day later, O’Reilly was fired and Burgess said she felt “triumphant.” She said it was “very cathartic.”
Burgess also said that she was “mortified” to hear President Donald Trump defend O’Reilly.
“What Trump said was, ‘I don’t think he did anything wrong,’” Lisa Bloom, Burgess’ attorney, said on The View. “He didn’t day ‘I don’t think he did it.’ He doesn’t think sexual harassment is wrong. [Trump has] made that very clear.”
Prior to Burgess’ appearance on The View, Bloom had told The Hollywood Reporter that O’Reilly “would never talk to [Burgess], not even hello, except to grunt at her like a wild boar. He would leer at her. He would always do this when no one else was around and she was scared.”
Burgess explained that about a week into her job at Fox News, O’Reilly began walking by her desk and making “grunting” noises.
Three to four weeks after she was hired, they were on the elevator alone. She says he let her off the elevator first. As he was walking in front of her, he said, “Looking good there, girl,” which was the first time he said anything to her. She claimed that every time he walked by her, she could feel him looking at her cleavage and “leering” at her. Burgess said O’Reilly had no reason to be near her desk. She called it “street harassment at the office.”
Burgess had complained about O’Reilly on Twitter, writing: “I contacted @ fox news for 6 months a few years ago bill oreilly is a piece of XXXX,” in October in 2010. In March 2014, she wrote, “Bill O’Reilly likes black women… I’ll leave it at that.”
O’Reilly has staunchly denied any such wrongdoing. After THR published Burgess’ claims, O’Reilly released a statement to CNN through his attorney, Marc E. Kasowitz.
“It is outrageous that an allegation from an anonymous person about something that purportedly happened a decade ago is being treated as fact, especially when there is an obviously orchestrated campaign by activists and lawyers to destroy Mr. O’Reilly and enrich themselves through publicity driven donations,” Kasowitz said.
Although O’Reilly has denied the claims of sexual harassment, The New York Times reported on April 1 that O’Reilly and Fox News reached settlements with five women that totaled $13 million, between 2002 and 2016.