NEW YORK (AP) — Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has sued a New Jersey ex-politician for writing on his Facebook page that O’Reilly sexually harassed his ex-girlfriend and wanted her to dig up dirt on another accuser.
A summons filed on Friday in New York state court seeks redress for Michael J. Panter’s “intentional, malicious, and bad faith actions in making defamatory and false statements in a publicly available social media post.”
Panter served in the New Jersey assembly as a Democrat for two terms from 2004 to 2008. There was no immediate response to a phone message left at his office.
O’Reilly is asking for at least $5 million in damages “for the public hatred, ridicule, disgrace, and permanent harm to his professional and personal reputations” as a result of the post, according to the court document.
In a Facebook post earlier this week, Panter wrote that his ex-girlfriend, a Fox employee he didn’t name, had settled a claim against O’Reilly and was bound by a non-disclosure agreement. But he said he felt compelled to speak out after hearing “O’Reilly spinning his falsehoods almost daily.”
Panter then detailed a phone conversation between the girlfriend and O’Reilly in which, according to Panter, O’Reilly asked her if she knew anything about another accuser’s sex life and use of illegal drugs.
“In essence, the leadership of Fox … was demanding information to attack another victim,” he wrote.