Earlier this year, a former Fox News anchor sued Bill O’Reilly. The network’s onetime ratings champ’s legal team forced her into arbitration and, at least for now, has achieved a significant victory.
Law & Crime reports:
Laurie Dhue filed a defamation lawsuit against O’Reilly over accusations that the 69-year-old former talk show host mounted a “smear campaign” against her. In the original 12-page complaint, Dhue claimed that O’Reilly made false statements about her after the release of a New York Times report last year.
The Times report noted that Dhue had received a $1 million settlement over sexual harassment allegations against O’Reilly and Fox News’ former CEO and chairman Roger Ailes. Dhue was said to be one of five women who received such payouts from the conservative cable network over O’Reilly’s behavior.
Despite the settlement, O’Reilly himself fought back against the claims. In the Times report, he said that Dhue’s allegations were “unfounded” and insisted that he was “very confident the truth” would come out.
On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts forced Dhue’s claims to arbitration before the case can move forward in federal court.
The ruling doesn’t yet compel Dhue to arbitrate her suit against O’Reilly outside of federal court. Rather, an arbitrator will make a final determination.