A Fox News producer filed two lawsuits against the company on Monday accusing the news giant’s lawyers of pressuring her into giving misleading testimony as part of the ongoing $1.6 billion defamation suit by Dominion Voting Systems.
The New York Times reported that Abby Grossberg, a producer who worked for Fox News hosts Maria Bartiromo and Tucker Carlson, filed the suits in New York and Delaware. In the complaints, Grossberg alleges Fox News attorneys pressured her to avoid mentioning prominent male executives and on-air talent to protect them in the Dominion lawsuit. She also claimed the lawyers planned to see her and Bartiromo take the blame for any conspiracy theories that aired on Fox News about Dominion, saying it was part of a widespread culture of misogyny at the network.
“That’s what the culture is there,” Grossberg told the Times after the suits were filed. “They don’t respect or value women.”
Dominion, in filing the $1.6 billion suit against Fox News, said the network spread former President Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud, including lies that its voting machines were rigged to switch votes for him to Joe Biden instead, contributing to his loss of the 2020 election. There is no evidence to back up those claims.
Fox News said Monday it would investigate the claims in Grossberg’s suit but added it had filed for a temporary restraining order against the producer to protect attorney-client privileged information.
“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,” the company said in a statement. “We will vigorously defend these claims.”
Grossberg’s suit includes descriptions about the working environment at Fox News, the Times reported. While working for Bartiromo, Grossberg said, superiors called the host a “crazy bitch” and instructed that she be cut out of coverage discussions. When she began working for Carlson last year, she said, she arrived at the New York office to hear his staff regularly joke about Jewish people and bandy about degrading terms for women.
Testimony released from the Dominion case has rocked Fox News in recent weeks. In one filing, News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch said under oath that several Fox News hosts had touted false conspiracy theories on-air, including Bartiromo, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro.
“Yes,” Murdoch said in his deposition, “they endorsed.”
A separate filing in February included text messages between key hosts and network executives in which they lambasted two of the key architects of the election lie, Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, but then the network still echoed their unfounded claims.
Fox has maintained any comments on the network are protected under the First Amendment.