Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.

O'Reilly v. Mackris aka Morelli v. justice  | e-mail post

Don't get me wrong, I didn't have a very high opinion of Bill O'Reilly before the lawsuit against him alleging that he is lecherous S.O.B.. However, it seems that now Andrea Mackris or her attorneys may be getting ahead of themselves. The AP is reporting that her attorneys have filed suit, alleging that she has lost her job due to coming forward with the allegations. [via Yahoo]

This would be fine, but apparently Fox is still paying her salary, having just suggested she not come into work (and I don't think her presence in the Fox offices would really help things). Mackris would seem to have taken the initiative of leaving herself, perplexing Fox's attorney:
Ronald Green, a lawyer for O'Reilly and Fox, on Tuesday dismissed Mackris' complaints about her job status. "Fox is still paying her her full salary," he said.

However, Green added, last week Mackris inexplicably sent an e-mail to friends saying, "I'm no longer at Fox." He also said Mackris went to her office and removed her belongings without being asked to by anyone at Fox.
I would like to go on the record that, while I can't really be fired in my current position, I would like to inform any future potential employer that I am absolutely open to being provided with my full compensation package while being asked to not come into work. Normally, this is called "paid vacation" and people complain about not getting enough of it.

The behavior of Mackris and her attorney unfortunately gives credence to the original claim filed by Bill O'Reilly against Mackris that she was attempting to extort Fox and O'Reilly out of $60 million for her silence. Possibly they are concerned that unless Fox fires her, they will be unable to successfully litigate a sufficiently large verdict.

Now that O'Reilly is also suing for access to the tapes Mackris made, it is looking like this may have been a complete set-up of O'Reilly, particularly given that the Mackris left Fox for CNN only to return later. Mackris' attorneys deny the existence of those tapes, but unless Mackris has the auditory equivalent of a photographic memory, that's tough to buy. (The complaint by Mackris includes quotations of up to 200 words, including "um"s and "ah"s said by O'Reilly.)

This seems to be the type of case that Mackris' attorney, Benedict Morelli, seems to like. This piece in New York Metro talks about Morelli's and another of his clients, the incongrously-named Christian Curry, in which it describes Curry, who was suing Morgan Stanley for $1.8 billion (yes, that's a "b"):
Curry, of course, was the 23-year-old Wall Street whiz kid famously canned by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Company just before Easter in 1998 -- ostensibly for some expense-account indiscretions but, curiously, just after some pictures of him done up as a shirtless, unzipped bike messenger appeared in Playguy. He is also the African-American Ivy League preppie from tony Chappaqua, New York, who claims that his bosses and co-workers at Morgan Stanley called him a monkey. But Christian Curry is also a young man with a credibility problem -- convicted for hurling a nightclub owner through a window near Fishs Eddy on Broadway at 19th Street in 1997; investigated by the Manhattan D.A. for conspiring to plant fake racist e-mails on his firm's computer system to build a case against the company; chastised by everyone, including himself, for sitting for risqué photo sessions on two separate occasions and signing release forms -- both times.
Did you notice that Curry also seemed to attempt to engage in a little extralegal bolstering of his case? I hate to judge, but, this sort of thing tends to look a little suspect.

You'll also pick up on the interesting fact that Morelli never actually graduated from law school. Fascinating. I'll be curious to see how the case goes.

e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink]  |  | Wednesday, October 20, 2004
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