In a pair of lawsuits, one filed in New York and the other in Delaware, Fox News producer Abby Grossberg accused the network of setting her up to take the fall in the ongoing defamation lawsuit filed against it by Dominion Voting Systems.
In the lawsuit, the details of which were reported by the New York Times, Grossberg says she was coached in “a coercive and intimidating manner” by Fox News lawyers prior to giving testimony last September in the Dominion case. The network’s goal, she said, was to to position her and Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, who Grossberg worked for at the time, to take the blame for airing false conspiracy theories alleging Dominion somehow rigged the 2020 election.
And in what is now a familiar turn of events for lawsuits involving the news channel, Grossberg also said she personally witnessed multiple instances of sexist and antisemitic behavior by other Fox News employees.
Fox News for its part filed a countersuit on Monday that seeks to enjoin her from discussing what it says are discussions protected by attorney-client privilege. Grossberg, according to the New York Times, has also been forcibly placed on administrative leave after filing her lawsuits.
Grossberg worked for Bartiromo’s show in 2020 during the election and into 2021; in 2022 she became the senior booker for Tucker Carlson tonight. Grossberg says the network understaffed Bartiromo’s show and claims this made it impossible to vet false claims of election fraud that were frequently featured on that show.
Last September, as the New York Times notes, Grossberg said during her testimony in the Dominion trial that she didn’t care if claims she show aired were true or false, “because we didn’t know if they were true or false at that time.” She also said she felt no obligation to correct false claims later. Grossberg now says she responded this way because she’d been “coached by and intimidated” by Fox lawyers, and urged to downplay the role of male company executive, which she says was part of a pattern of sexism at the network.
Grossberg alleges that she witnessed Fox News executives call Bartiromo a “crazy bitch” and “menopausal.” After she moved over to Tucker Carlson’s show, she says she immediately witnessed sexist jokes and was asked about Bartiromo’s sex life. She says also that Carlson’s staff frequently made sexist and antisemitic jokes.
In a statement provided to TheWrap, Fox News said it “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.”
Regarding its counter-suit, Fox News also said, “Ms. Grossberg has threatened to disclose Fox’s attorney-client privileged information and we filed a temporary restraining order to protect our rights.”