This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 14, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: A few weeks ago, all hell broke loose when two young undercover citizen reporters photographed ACORN officials saying they would help set up houses of prostitution, including situations involving underage girls. Since that time, ACORN has imploded. Congressional funds have been cut off, and this week the top ACORN official in New Orleans was fired after a local ACORN volunteer allegedly made negative statements about Barack Obama.
Joining us now from south Florida is the undercover lady herself, Hannah Giles, and her attorney Kelly Shackelford. So how has your life changed in the past few weeks?
HANNAH GILES, CONDUCTED UNDERCOVER ACORN STINGS: Well, I've been part of a big thing that has happened to the United States. I'm 20 years old, and I'm experiencing some exciting stuff. It's quite shocking to know that I was part of the Senate and House vote to de-fund ACORN and all the other things that followed.
O'REILLY: OK, but you know, you were a 20-year-old American, living the life, and now you're a 21-year-old American involved in a big political scandal story that you broke. So just tell me: Is your life exactly the same? Do you get more recognition? Are there people criticizing you? Give me something.
GILES: It's — well, you know, a lawsuit was filed, so there's that criticism, but it's been really cool. I've always wanted to be an investigative journalist, so seeing and uncover [ph] government corruption, so being a part of this is incredible. It's kind of like a dream come true. It's wonderful.
O'REILLY: All right. So day to day there isn't really much difference in the way that Hannah Giles lives now, as the way you lived, say, a month and a half ago. Day to day, it's basically the same thing. Do you have a job, Hannah?
GILES: Right now, no. I'm — I'm dealing with the lawsuit stuff so...
O'REILLY: So you're dealing with all the legal stuff. Now, counselor, the state of Maryland has a law that you have to have two-party consent to do undercover audio. A lot of states don't have that. And this is the genesis of, I guess, two ACORN people who were fired, are suing. Tell us about the lawsuit.
KELLY SHACKELFORD, ATTORNEY FOR HANNAH GILES: Well, I'll point out that, while the lawsuit's been filed, Hannah has yet to be served yet. But from what we understand, the two individuals who were fired for essentially facilitating tax fraud, prostitution, even bringing in 13-year-old girls for sex slave trade, those individuals were fired. They sued Hannah for — and James — for allegedly causing them emotional distress, I guess, because they got fired. And then damage to their name. And then ACORN sued Hannah and James and Breitbart for allegedly causing damage to their reputation, if that's possible, from this, as well.
O'REILLY: Is this — do you feel this is a serious lawsuit? Or will it get thrown out in summary judgment? Look, Hannah's a young woman. She doesn't have a lot of money to defend lawsuits like this. So how are you going to handle it?
SHACKELFORD: Yes, it's a $5 million lawsuit against a 20-year-old college student. I think it's clearly an attempt to bully a young woman, to...
O'REILLY: Well, it's a revenge play. It's a revenge play. I don't know about bullying. It was, look, you hurt us; we'll hurt you. But what is the legal strategy here? I mean, what are you going to do?
SHACKELFORD: Well, No. 1, the law has to be very clear. It has to be a private conversation. Anybody who looks at the tapes can see that there were 10, 11, 12 people in the room, people milling around. There's kids. You can hear lots of things on the audio. It's clear that it doesn't meet that definition.
And additionally, we have the First Amendment in this country, and we really value independent journalism. We value the idea of holding powerful interests accountable and exposing corruption, and especially when that involves government dollars. So when you compare that to sort of the alleged interest, there is and having a public conversation in a public room with 10 or 12 people, I think the First Amendment clearly wins out there, and needs to for the future of our country.
O'REILLY: Well, it will be an interesting thing to see. It depends on where this is adjudicated. You know, it depends where you get it, because it could — it could be problematic. But, anyway, look, Hannah, we wish you the best. You did something that was bold, there's no doubt about it. And the results have been catastrophic for ACORN, so we will follow the case. Counselor, we appreciate it. Keep us posted.
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