A Fox News producer on Monday filed lawsuits against the network, alleging its lawyers coerced her into providing misleading testimony in Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the network.
The lawsuits were filed Monday night by Abby Grossberg, who worked with Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Maria Bartiromo, against the network in New York and Delaware.
Grossberg alleged that Fox News lawyers “coerced, intimidated, and misinformed” her as they prepared her to testify in Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation suit.
“Ms. Grossberg left the deposition preparation sessions without knowing that by giving such false/misleading and evasive answers like the ones Fox’s legal team reacted to positively to during the prep sessions, she not only opened herself up to civil and criminal liability for perjury, but was subtly shifting all responsibility for the alleged defamation against Dominion onto her shoulders, and by implication, those of her trusted female colleague, Ms. Bartiromo, rather than the mostly male higher ups at Fox News who endorsed the repeated coverage of the lies against the Dominion,” the lawsuit filed in New York said.
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Grossberg also alleged a “toxic workplace” culture of discrimination while working at Fox News. She claimed she was “isolated, overworked, undervalued, denied opportunities for promotion, and generally treated significantly worse than her male counterparts, even when those men were less qualified than her,” and that the network retaliated against her after she complained about the “unlawful harassment (based on her gender and Jewish religion).”
Her lawsuit also claimed that she experienced “vile sexist stereotypes” and that female workers were “verbally violated on almost a daily basis by a poisonous and entrenched patriarchy.”
Fox News denied Grossberg’s claims in a statement.
“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. Her allegations in connection with the Dominion case are baseless and we will vigorously defend Fox against all of her claims,” Irena Briganti, senior executive vice president of corporate communications for Fox News Media, said.
Fox News on Monday night sought a temporary restraining order against Grossberg, which the network said would prevent her from disclosing privileged information. The network argued that it would suffer “immediate irreparable harm” if the order isn’t granted. A judge has not ruled on the order yet.
“Ms. Grossberg has threatened to disclose Fox’s attorney-client privileged information and we filed a temporary restraining order to protect our rights,” Briganti said in a statement.
In a statement, Grossman’s lawyers, Parisis “Gerry” Filippatos and Tanvir Rahman, said their client was placed on “administrative leave” after she told the network that she was about to file these lawsuits, as alleged in her complaint.
"Ms. Grossberg has refused to be silenced and bullied by Fox News, after having to endure for years what she alleges was a workplace rampant with sexism and misogyny, where men were routinely promoted over, paid more, and provided far more resources and staff than more qualified women both in front of and behind the camera," they said.
"Worse, Ms. Grossberg alleges that she was manipulated and used as a pawn by Fox News’s lawyers to shift the blame for the Network’s broadcasting of false information about Dominion Voting Systems onto women like her and Maria Bartiromo, simply to protect the Network’s predominantly male higher ups who controlled the content and guests that were and were not allowed to air on the channel," they added. "Our firm is committed to vindicating Fox’s egregious violation of Ms. Grossberg’s rights."
Fox News, however, dropped its request for a temporary restraining order against Grossberg through a notice of discontinuance filed Tuesday, her lawyers said.
“While our office was fully prepared and ready to argue to the New York Supreme Court why Fox News’s baseless and retaliatory lawsuit seeking to restrain Ms. Grossberg from speaking out about her abhorrent experiences at the Network was frivolous, Fox News wisely decided to give up on its clearly meritless claims against Ms. Grossberg,” Filippatos and Rahman said in a statement.
“We remain ready and eager to vindicate Fox News’s blatant and repeated violation of Ms. Grossberg’s rights, including her right to not be baselessly sued in retaliation for complaining about unlawful conduct, in the Southern District of New York and in Delaware Superior Court.”
Grossberg’s lawsuit was filed a day before a key hearing in Dominion’s lawsuit against Fox News, when a Delaware judge considers whether to rule on any part of the case ahead of a jury trial.
Dominion sued Fox in March 2021, accusing it of defamation and alleging it gave oxygen to conspiracy theories it knew were false, including that Dominion equipment was used to rig the 2020 election for Joe Biden, that it was tied to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and that it bribed U.S. government officials.
Evidence released as part of the defamation suit earlier this month hinted at Grossberg’s work life.
“I book and write all of Sunda [sic] Morning Futures alone, so know what it’s like to run lean!” she wrote in an email sent in September 2020, pressing a researcher to send her a data point.
“I didn’t realize you were just as slammed as me,” she added. “Sometimes, I also just want to make sure I have the correct info and am tallying it right, since I’m the last line before air.”