A lawsuit over a terminated Fox Business reality series about estate sales is getting ugly in court, but Fox News chairman Roger Ailes won’t have to be deposed “at this time,” according to the New York state judge Barry Ostrager.
Leftfield Pictures, the producer of History Channel’s “Pawn Stars,” pushed to put Ailes under oath, calling him an “essential witness,” but it’s not happening anytime soon.
“The judge this morning refused to allow Mr. Ailes or his assistant to be deposed at this time thus vindicating Fox News’ claim of harassment,” the outside counsel representing Fox Business Network said in a statement to TheWrap.
“Mr. Ailes and his assistant did not negotiate the contract, did not hear the representations made by Leftfield about it and played no role in terminating the agreement,” the statement continued. “The trial judge rejected the Plaintiff’s request to take these depositions and required Leftfield to depose the Fox employees who know something about the facts.”
Leftfield Pictures sued Fox for $4.5 million last summer for breach of contract after the network failed to pay the production company despite ordering 26 episodes of a new Fox Business reality series based on a family that runs lucrative estate sales.
Fox News filed a counter-suit over alleged fraud by Leftfield, claiming the company did not produce the cast of characters it promised, including a “traditional” family structure at its core.
New York Civil Practice Law and Rules prohibit CEOs from being the first deposed in lawsuits when they are not material witnesses. Ailes also made news yesterday by having lunch with frenemy Donald Trump at Fox News headquarters in New York City.