As first reported by Mediaite on Thursday, Bill O’Reilly has now officially commenced legal action against Michael Panter — a former local politician in New Jersey — over a Facebook post which O’Reilly’s attorney claims to be “contrived, false and defamatory.”
In a summons with notice which was filed in Nassau County (NY) court Friday, the ousted Fox News host claims that he was subject to “public ridicule, hatred, and disgrace,” as a result of Panter’s post. He’s also alleging that his reputation was permanently harmed. O’Reilly is seeking $5 million in damages.
In his Facebook post, Panter mentioned an unnamed ex-girlfriend who, he claimed, was sexually harassed by O’Reilly and then pressured to keep silent by Fox News executives. Panter told Mediaite that his post was intended for a small group of people. But it quickly went viral after being Tweeted by Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman.
To be clear, O’Reilly has not filed an official lawsuit against Panter. After filing the summons, Panter will demand that O’Reilly file an official complaint. After the demand, O’Reilly will then have 20 days to file the lawsuit or the judge could dismiss the case all together.
Read the complete filing below.
[image via screengrab]
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