Bill O’Reilly accuser reveals identity, feels ‘triumphant’,
The woman who remained anonymous when she alleged Bill O’Reilly sexually harassed her publicly revealed her identity today, appearing on ABC’s “The View.” She said she felt “triumphant” upon hearing that O’Reilly would not return to the airwaves.
Perquita Burgess appeared on “The View” one day after Fox News jettisoned its top-rated host amid allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct by several women.
Burgess said that she was a temporary worker at Fox News in 2008 when she claims the host acted inappropriately towards her.
“Within the first week and a half of working there … he made like a grunting noise,” she told “The View.” “As time went on, I noticed every time he walked past my desk, if no one was around, he would make that noise.”
“Fast forward to maybe three, four weeks in, we were on the elevator alone coming up to our floor, and he let me off first as gentlemen usually do,” she continued. “As I was getting off the elevator, he said ‘looking good, there, girl.'”
“One day he walks past my desk … he walks past and says ‘Hey, hot chocolate,'” she said. “I didn’t respond. I was mortified … I took that as a very plantational remark.”
Burgess said that she did not report the behavior at the time because she was not an employee of Fox News. She said that she did not tell her temporary work agency because she didn’t want to damage the relationship she had with the firm.
Asked why she was speaking out now, Burgess said that she was “tired of reliving the trauma every time I saw a woman speak out, and I wanted to save him from doing it to anyone else.”
“I did not want to,” she said. “I was very afraid.”
O’Reilly’s representative did not immediately return ABC News’ request for comment.
Attorney Lisa Bloom was also present on the set and said that Burgess was not seeking money from O’Reilly. She also noted that the statute of limitations had run out, so Burgess could not seek a settlement as other women had, even if she desired to do so.
Burgess and Bloom also spoke out against President Donald Trump, who defended O’Reilly in an April interview in the Oval Office, saying, “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
Burgess said she felt “mortified” by the president’s remarks.
Bloom went further, saying, “What Trump said is ‘I don’t think he did anything wrong.’ He didn’t say, ‘I don’t think he did it.'”
“He doesn’t think sexual harassment is wrong,” Bloom said. “He’s made that very clear.”
Burgess’ allegations first came to light on Tuesday in a story published by The Hollywood Reporter, which heavily quoted her lawyer Lisa Bloom.
During the Thursday appearance, she hailed O’Reilly’s departure as “a very important first step,” but said that the network needed “to clean house and show us that they really do respect women.”
O’Reilly issued a statement on Wednesday after the news of his departure was announced, saying, “It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today.”
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