A 2015 arrest by Detroit police of a key accuser of Bill O’Reilly for giving a false report of a crime has raised serious doubts as to her credibility.
In April, O’Reilly was fired from Fox News shortly after Perquita Burgess claimed the host made sexually suggestive comments to her, including calling her “hot chocolate.”
Burgess worked at Fox News for several weeks in 2008 as a clerical temp.
Shortly after an April 1st New York Times report detailed sexual harassment allegations by several women against O’Reilly, Burgess called a 21st Century Fox hotline claiming alleged workplace misconduct by O’Reilly. 21st Century is the parent company of Fox News.
At the time her charges emerged, O’Reilly’s program, “The O’Reilly Factor,” was already in the throes of an advertiser-boycott campaign being pushed by several liberal organizations.
The boycott started after the New York Times report that seven-figure settlements had been reached with five women who said O’Reilly had subjected them to inappropriate behavior. O’Reilly told the Times he signed off on the settlements to protect his family from controversy and had not admitted any guilt.
All of the allegations included in the Times report were more than a decade old.
Burgess’s more recent allegations, however, played a significant role in O’Reilly’s termination at the network, a source close to Fox News told Newsmax.
“I had no idea who this woman was,” O’Reilly told Newsmax. O’Reilly denied ever having a conversation with her.
“So when it came out, it was stunning,” he said.
The day after O’Reilly was fired, Burgess went public with her account in a high-profile appearance on ABC’s “The View.”
Burgess told the audience she noticed O’Reilly making a “grunt noise,” or clearing his throat, when he passed by her desk.
She said on another occasion he remarked, “Looking good there, girl!”
Burgess, an African-American woman, also said O’Reilly once called out to her, “Hey, hot chocolate.”
She said the remark was “very plantational.”
According to Burgess’s account, she found the alleged remarks and leering behavior “uncomfortable” and “embarrassing.”
Burgess stated she shared her experiences with her sister and boyfriend, but did not report them to the network.
The day Fox announced his departure from the network, O’Reilly issued a statement saying the charges leveled against him were “completely unfounded.”
Newsmax has obtained two documents that cast doubt on Burgess’s credibility.
A Detroit Police report dated Feb. 11, 2015, documents Burgess’s arrest on charges of making a false report and obstructing a court order.
According to the police document, Burgess called authorities and alleged her boyfriend had struck her in the face with a gun. Police said when they arrived at the scene Burgess “appeared intoxicated.”
The arresting officer stated: “I asked Ms. Burgess where the gun was that she was struck with in the face, she replied there is no gun. I again asked her where the gun was, and if she had been assaulted. Ms. Burgess stated there was no gun, and he didn’t assault me!”
The boyfriend told police she had threatened him, saying she would call “the cops saying you hit me with a gun!”
According to the police document, Burgess was arrested for filing a false felony report and for violating a personal protection order.
In a statement provided to Newsmax, Lisa Bloom, Burgess’s attorney, acknowledges the police report involving her client, but states that Burgess and her former boyfriend “both believe the charges were based on a misunderstanding and were not pursued by the police or prosecutors.”
In another document, a social media user thought to be Burgess tweeted on Nov. 24, 2012: “… up until 10 years ago Laurence Fishburne could get every oz. of my hot chocolate.”
Addressing that tweet, Bloom stated: “Ms. Burgess has used many terms to refer to herself, including on occasion ‘bitch’ and the N word. That does not give others – especially her superiors in her workplace – permission to use offensive language about her.”
O’Reilly voiced frustration that the media had published harshly negative accounts about him without checking on the background of the accusers.
“The press just printed everything she said,” he said. “She’s on ‘The View,’ and nobody’s even checking her out? I mean, come on.”
“This is why people use the term witch hunt,” he said.
O’Reilly, a best-selling author and star of the No. 1-rated cable news show for 16 years, maintains there is “not one shred of evidence to back any of these accusations.”
In his 42-year career working for 12 major news organizations, O’Reilly says, he was never the subject of a single human resources complaint regarding his behavior in the workplace.
O’Reilly described the push to get him kicked off Fox’s airwaves as “a well-organized political hit, very well-funded,” and did not rule out future legal action against those who orchestrated it.
He added that he expects more revelations relating to his departure from Fox News.
“We have evidence, I can tell you, that is shocking. Physical evidence that will come out that is shocking,” he said with emphasis. “I’ve seen it. So this is the first. There will be others.”
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