Bill O’Reilly Accuser Speaks Out for 1st Time

Perquita Burgess/The View screenshot
Perquita Burgess/The View screenshot

Bill O’Reilly once referred to her as “hot chocolate,” says Perquita Burgess, one of the women who have accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment. She spoke out about the now-former Fox News host on The View on Thursday.

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Burgess, who was working as a temp at Fox at the time, said it only took O’Reilly about two weeks to start harassing her.

“He always walked past my desk and he made, like, a grunting noise,” Burgess said. “As time went on, I noticed … if no one was around, he would make that noise.”

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Burgess then went on to talk about an incident in an elevator.

“He let me off first, as gentlemen usually do,” she said, “and I walked in front of him, and as I was leaving the elevator, he said, ‘Looking good there, girl.’”

Burgess said that the harassment went on and got even more aggressive, but she didn’t report it to Fox because she didn’t want to jeopardize her job at the network or with her temp agency.

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As to why she’s speaking out now, years later, she says it’s because she got tired of hearing the stories from women and reliving the experience.

“I was tired of reliving the trauma every time I saw a woman speak out,” Burgess said.

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“I did not want to,” she added. “I was very afraid because I don’t want the skeptics … when people question it, it pisses you off.”

Bye, Kinja! It's been fun (occasionally).

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DISCUSSION

It really bothers me that she has to explain why she is sharing her harassment and trauma now. Because we all know that the majority of people will immediately question any woman who shares that they have been assaulted or abused in any way. This line of thinking is incredibly toxic....for everyone.

I’ve shared with many of you my own personal experience and whenever a story like this breaks, a small part of me is....ashamed that I “let it happen”. Of course, that’s a bunch of bullshit but my point is that I, too, have internalized the way we treat women and survivors of assault, abuse and discrimination. Many times I even wonder why I bother to share my experience as often as I do but I feel like it is my duty to share with other people to normalize it (i.e. the process of sharing trauma). I would hate other people to feel like they have to repress their experience for fear of retaliation or discrimination because Burgess is right, at least in my experience. Every time a story breaks, I relive that trauma and it’s honestly so much for me to think about sometimes.

I applaud and am inspired by women like Burgess. And I applaud others who may not choose to share their experience either. I also feel for people who do not feel empowered to do so because I know that that’s like to carry the weight of trauma; it is a lonely journey. We all overcome our traumas in different ways and mine just happens to be through sharing it with other.

PS - Rot in hell Bill O’Reilly.