In a court filing on Wednesday, comedian Bill Maher accused Fox News of “Bait-and-Switch” and accused it of “intentionally” making a false claim about the lawsuit that the comedian is pursuing.
In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in New York, Maher’s lawyers accused Fox of using the suit to pressure Maher into a settlement with the network.
“Mr. Maher has already agreed to pay Fox’s legal fees and settle the lawsuit in a settlement that is fair, reasonable, and does not violate Mr. Maher’s First Amendment rights,” the motion read.
Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Earlier this year, the comedian sued the network for defamation for a column he wrote that appeared on Fox News’ website in October 2014.
The column argued that women were too afraid to come forward because they feared reprisal and that the network was making them work harder.
“I have never received a single paycheck from Fox News, nor have I ever had any kind of negative experience with the company,” Maher wrote.
“It’s my understanding that Fox News pays a lot of money to its lawyers, and if the network had an anti-bullying campaign, they’d probably be paid a lot more.
It’s a bit of a bait-and the-switch.”
The Fox News lawsuit was filed in July, three months after Maher published a column titled, “How To Get Away With Murder: How Fox News Became the Worst TV News Channel Ever.”
In that column, the comic claimed that the mainstream media is biased against women.
“The press, media, and political class of America have a history of using intimidation and fear tactics to silence and punish those who challenge their narrative,” the column read.
“Their strategy is to silence you by pretending you are the problem and not to allow you to speak up.”
Maher and Fox News have been in court over the issue before.
In September, Fox News dropped the lawsuit when a judge granted the comedian’s request for a preliminary injunction.
The complaint said the network’s lawyers had “repeatedly and deliberately misrepresented and defamed Mr. [Maher] and the plaintiff.”
“The plaintiff is seeking damages for the defendants’ intentional, malicious, and intentional falsehoods in their motion to dismiss, and for damages for wrongful infliction of emotional distress, and in other claims,” the lawsuit read.
Maher, who has previously sued Fox News over the “Barely Legal” show, is seeking an unspecified amount in damages from Fox, which he said has been unfairly targeting him in an attempt to “dismantle” his career.
The comedian is also suing the network over what he called its “unconscionable” treatment of his character Bill Maher, saying the network used the character to advance a “political agenda.”
In a March court filing, the comedy star wrote that Fox used “false and misleading statements about the plaintiff in order to silence him.”
The lawsuit also said the comedian was harassed and threatened with retaliation for speaking out against the network in response to the character’s depiction of a woman who is “unable to give consent for her own sexual gratification” and that Fox “repeatingly and intentionally misrepresented the plaintiff’s relationship with Mr. Fox.”