Fox News Sues Its Own Producer

Abby Grossberg is also suing Fox, claims she was pressured to protect higher-ups in Dominion case
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2023 8:00 AM CDT
Fox News Sues Its Own Producer
Images of Fox News personalities, from left, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Maria Bartiromo, Stuart Varney, Neil Cavuto and Charles Payne appear outside News Corporation headquarters in New York on July 31, 2021.   (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)

A Fox News producer is suing her own company, which is accused of airing false election fraud claims, saying executives pressured her into taking the blame in order to protect higher-ups and hosts, including Tucker Carlson. Abby Grossberg, who worked with Maria Bartiromo from 2020-2021 before joining Tucker Carlson Tonight, says Bartiromo's show was understaffed as a result of "vile" sexism at the company, meaning it couldn't properly fact-check claims that Dominion Voting Systems tampered with the 2020 election. But that's not what executives wanted Grossberg to say at her September deposition as part of Dominion's defamation lawsuit, according to a pair of lawsuits filed Monday in New York and Delaware.

Fox's lawyers "coerced, intimidated, and misinformed" Grossberg into deflecting blame away from male executives and hosts, while putting herself and Bartiromo at risk, the documents read, per the Washington Post. "That's what the culture is there," Grossberg tells the New York Times in an interview. "They don't respect or value women." As evidence of that, she claims execs called Bartiromo a "crazy b----," "menopausal," "hysterical," and "a diva." She also describes anti-Semitic jokes, slurs against women, and open harassment at Tucker Carlson Tonight. When Grossberg complained about harassment by two male producers, she says she was told that she wasn't performing her duties.

All this led to the 2022 deposition, where Grossberg stated she didn't care if false claims were aired on Bartiromo's show "because we didn't know if they were true or false at that time" and added it wasn't necessary to correct false claims later. But she now says her "false/misleading and evasive answers" were the result of coercion, per the Post. She says she was specifically pressured to downplay a text exchange in which David Clark, the senior vice president of weekend news, told her there should be "no fact checking" of a segment involving former President Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Grossberg says she interpreted that to mean that no one should push back on Giuliani's false claims of election fraud.

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A Fox rep instead claims Clark meant there was to be no criticism of material aired elsewhere on Fox. In response to Monday's suits, the company placed Grossberg on forced administrative leave and filed its own suit against her in an effort to block her from discussing conversations with the network's lawyers. "Ms. Grossberg has threatened to disclose Fox's attorney-client privileged information and we filed a temporary restraining order to protect our rights," Fox tells the Wrap. The company adds it will "vigorously defend" against Greenberg's "baseless" claims, "which were made following a critical performance review" and "immediately" investigated by an independent outside counsel. (More Fox News stories.)

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