Bill O’Reilly Accuser Perquita Burgess Shares Her Story On “The View”
“I WAS MORTIFIED.” Bill O’Reilly accuser Perquita Burgess recounts the alleged sexual harassment by the former Fox News host. pic.twitter.com/PQEZQzP7eL
— The View (@TheView) April 20, 2017
Yesterday, I just couldn’t muster the strength to write about the myriad of sexual abuse claims lodged against Bill O’Reilly. Even after I learned that Fox had terminated their contract with him, I just couldn’t. After all, there was a large part of me that resented the fact that it wasn’t O’Reilly’s history of racist comments that took him down. It was the fact that the image of the pure White woman had been compromised, the fact that advertisers had pulled their money away from the network that influenced their decision to cut ties with Bill O’Reilly.
But today, we heard a different viewpoint. Earlier today, Perquita Burgess, one of the Black women Bill O’Reilly sexually harassed while at Fox sat down on “The View” and told her story.
She said the harassment with O’Reilly began when he would walk past her desk and make grunting noises. She said she initially thought it was a muscle spasm but she said, “As time went on, I noticed…if no one was around he would make that noise. He wasn’t speaking to me. It wasn’t like he was saying hi. I just took it as—it was embarrassing. So I just got to a point where I just did not look at him.”
Three weeks later, Burgess said the harassment increased.
“We were on the elevator alone, coming up to our floor. And he let me off first as gentlemen usually do with a woman and as I was getting off the elevator he said, ‘Looking good there girl.’ And the hairs rose on the back of my neck because I knew the grunting and groaning was going on. He didn’t speak and then he waits until I get off the elevator and as I’m walking in front of him, makes these remarks.”
Burgess said, “It was like street harassment in the office.”
The harassment continued, Burgess said when O’Reilly who had no reason to be near her desk would often walk past when she said he was looking at her cleavage.
The media knows Burgess because O’Reilly notoriously referred to her as “Hot Chocolate.” She explained the first time O’Reilly referred to her as such.
“One day, he walks past my desk. I remember it was like after lunch. I went downstairs in the plaza. And I’m just sitting there minding my business and he walks past and says, ‘Hey Hot Chocolate.’ But he didn’t look at me when he said it. I didn’t respond. I was mortified because not only was it sexual, I took that as a very plantational remark. You know? I been around enough racism, whatever. But such a blatant person with such a high profile making me feel uncomfortable but then not even acknowledging me.”
Burgess said she never reported the incident to HR because she was not a full time employee at the network. And she didn’t notify her temp agency for fear that it would jeopardize their relationship with Fox. She said what she did do was tell her friends and family and left a digital trail on social media documenting the incidents back to 2010.
She explained why she was willing to tell her story now.
“I was tired of reliving the trauma every time I saw a woman speak out. I did not want to. I was very afraid because I don’t want the skeptics…when people question it, it pisses you off.”
Burgess said that when she learned that Fox had finally gotten rid of O’Reilly she said “I felt triumphant. It’s very cathartic.”
You can watch a clip of her interview in the video above.