A Fox News producer on Monday filed a pair of explosive lawsuits against the right-wing talk channel, alleging that the network’s lawyers coerced her into providing misleading testimony in Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation case against the company.
The lawsuits filed by Abby Grossberg, who worked as a senior booking producer for Maria Bartiromo and most recently head of booking for Tucker Carlson, accused Fox’s legal team of having engaged in wrongful conduct as it prepared her for a pre-trial deposition in the election technology company’s case.
The lawsuits from Grossberg, who has since been placed on administrative leave by Fox, were filed in Delaware Superior Court and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
“Fox News Attorneys acted as agents and at the behest of Fox News to misleadingly coach, manipulate, and coerce Ms. Grossberg to deliver shaded and/or incomplete answers during her sworn deposition testimony, which answers were clearly to her reputational detriment but greatly benefitted Fox News,” the lawsuit filed in Delaware stated.
The Delaware lawsuit alleged that the “concerted efforts and actions” from Fox’s legal team ultimately caused Grossberg to testify in a way that portrayed the facts “in a false light” in order to “shift culpability” away from senior Fox News executives and “away from Fox Corporation.”
That matter is important because Fox Corporation, the parent company of Fox News, has asked to be dropped as a party in Dominion’s lawsuit by arguing that it does not play a big role in coverage decisions at the network.
Dominion has alleged in its lawsuit against Fox Corporation and Fox News that during the 2020 election the right-wing network “recklessly disregarded the truth” and pushed various pro-Trump conspiracy theories about the election technology company because “the lies were good for Fox’s business.” Fox News has strongly disputed Dominion’s allegations.
A Fox News spokesperson responded to Grossberg’s lawsuits in a statement that said, “Fox News Media engaged an independent outside counsel to immediately investigate the concerns raised by Ms. Grossberg, which were made following a critical performance review. We will vigorously defend these claims.”
Fox News had filed suit against Grossberg Monday, seeking a restraining order to prevent her from divulging privileged information that it said would cause the network to “suffer immediate irreparable harm.” But on Tuesday, Fox dropped the suit.
Spokespeople for Fox News did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday after the network moved to drop its suit against Grossberg.
In a phone interview Monday night, Grossberg and her attorney Gerry Filippatos disputed Fox News’ assertion the complaints only came after a critical performance review.
“It’s another example of Fox News not only shying away from the truth, but attempting to bury the truth,” Filippatos told CNN.
“Fox just does not care,” Grossberg added. “It summarizes everything perfectly. They don’t care about their employees … and they don’t care about their viewers.”
Allegations of sexism
In her lawsuits, Grossberg also made a number of eye-popping allegations about the workplace environment at Fox News, accusing the network of rampant sexism.
Grossberg, who indicated she was passed over for a top job on Bartiromo’s show because the network preferred it be filled by a male, said Fox News executives referred to the “Sunday Mornings Futures” host as a “crazy b**ch” and “menopausal.”
When she began work on Carlson’s show, Grossberg said the environment was horrific. On her first day, she said she learned the show’s workspace was decorated with large photos of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “in a plunging bathing suit revealing her cleavage.”
“Grossberg was mortified by what she was witnessing and began to experience a sinking feeling in her stomach as it became apparent how pervasive the misogyny and drive to embarrass and objectify women was among the male staff at [‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’],” the lawsuit filed in New York said.
The lawsuit continued to describe a culture at Carlson’s program in which women were subjected to crude terms and in which jokes about Jewish people were made out in the open. Grossberg named Carlson and members of his staff in the lawsuit filed in New York.
Filippatos said that Grossberg has “ample documentary evidence in all forms to support a broad swath” of the allegations made in the lawsuits.
Grossberg told CNN that she filed her lawsuit in hopes that it will spur change at the network and because she believed it “was the only step” she had to regain her pride and save her career. Grossberg said she wanted to “expose the lies and deceit” that she “witnessed for years” on two of Fox News’ biggest shows.
“I’ve covered many stories while I have been there,” Grossberg told CNN. “Dominion is just a small portion. And I’ve witnessed it from the very beginning until my last day of work last week.”
“It’s constant,” she added. “Ratings are very important to the shows, to the network, and to the hosts. It’s a business and that’s what drives coverage.”