REALLY O’REILLY: Seems that even a move to New York City wasn't enough to help our town's Andrea Mackris put “the falafel thing” behind her.

Mackris is the woman who accused Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment and countersued him for $60 million in 2004, reaching an undisclosed settlement that was rumored to be between $2 million and $10 million.

Her case was the second one listed in a Sunday New York Times feature story about the real – and frequently recognizable -- news stories that formed the basis for so many episodes in the 20-year history of ''Law & Order.''

The article said an episode entitled “Obsession,” which aired Feb. 9, 2005, was ripped from the headline of the Mackris-O’Reilly case. Here’s the Times’s take:

“THE HEADLINE Bill O'Reilly, the host of ''The O'Reilly Factor,'' sued Andrea Mackris, a producer at Fox News, for extortion in October 2004, saying she had threatened to file sexual harassment charges if he didn't cough up $60 million. Ms. Mackris fought back the same day by filing sexual harassment charges. She claimed to have tape recordings of Mr. O'Reilly making lewd phone calls to her in which loofas were used as items of foreplay. They settled 16 days later.

THE RIP Larry Shea, a family-values-preaching talk-show host, is shot at a book signing, and the obvious suspect is the woman to whom he paid a huge settlement the day before in a sexual harassment suit. But when her alibi seems tight, Detectives Joe Fontana (Dennis Farina) and Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin) look to Mr. Shea's wife, Miranda, tying her to a series of adulterous love triangles. Ultimately, she is convicted of persuading a lover to shoot her husband; loofas were not involved.”

The loofa mention is where “the falafel thing” comes from. In the http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/1013043mackris1.html">transcripts of the lawsuit, O’Reilly said he would massage Mackris with a loofah in the shower and then he later referred to the loofah as “the falafel thing.”

Mackris, 39, graduated from Westminster Christian Academy in 1989 and the University of Missouri in May 1993 with a degree in English. She was a White House intern for former President George H.W. Bush in the summer of 1991 and has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Mackris came back to town a couple years ago – made a minor splash being named to St. Louis Magazine’s best-dressed list and dating a variety of our town’s more interesting people – and recently moved to New York.

Here’s a http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=andrea%20mackris&search=Search&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&spell=1"> youtube.com video from the time the allegation surfaced.