A Tucker Carlson producer has filed a pair of explosive lawsuits against Fox News.
Abby Grossberg, a former producer for Maria Bartiromo who now heads Carlson’s booking, alleges that the network not only discriminated against her on the basis of her gender and religion — but that Fox’s legal team attempted to manipulate her into giving misleading testimony to investigators in the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit.
Fox News petitioned the New York Supreme Court for a court order that would prevent Grossberg from discussing the suit publicly. The network dropped the request days later, “without prejudice, and without costs to any party.”
Dominion’s defamation lawsuit against Fox News has put Grossberg in investigators’ crosshairs. Grossberg, who in the aftermath of the election worked as a producer for Bartiromo’s Sunday Morning Futures, exchanged emails with Bartiromo and senior network executives discussing the show’s treatment of claims of election fraud in the 2020 election. Bartiromo was one of the loudest voices broadcasting conspiracy theories claiming that Dominion helped manipulate the outcome of the election.
According to a review of Grossberg’s lawsuit by The Daily Beast, Grossberg claims she would have answered questions asked by Dominion’s lawyers more honestly had she not been “coached by and intimidated by” Fox News’ legal staff.
Attorneys allegedly pushed Grossberg not to mention the names of several prominent hosts and executives in her deposition and was specifically asked to downplay a text exchange between herself and then-Senior Vice President David Clark. In the exchange, Clark instructed Grossberg that there would be “no ‘fact checking’ today,” ahead of a segment featuring Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
According to the filing, during preparatory meetings for her upcoming deposition Fox’s attorneys provided “emphatical head shakes ‘no,’ [or] shook their heads whenever Ms. Grossberg answered hypothetical questions in a manner that was truthful but implicated others or needed elaboration,” she understood that she needed to avoid problematic questions or say something equivocal for Fox News to continue to ‘have her back.’”
The deposition preparations left Grossberg with the impression that Fox’s attorneys were attempting to subtly shift “all responsibility for the alleged defamation against Dominion” onto her and Bartiromo’s shoulders, and away from “the mostly male higher ups at Fox News who endorsed the repeated coverage of the lies against the Dominion.”
Grossberg also alleges that Fox’s legal team strongly advised her against hiring her own legal representation, and withheld her deposition transcript well past the point where she would have been able to provide review and revisions to her answers.
Separately, Grossberg alleges that she was subject to a rampant culture of misogyny at Fox, and that the network both discriminated against her, and retaliated when she attempted to bring attention to the issue. She alleges that network executives passed her over for a promotion despite her qualifications, and intentionally shopped out the vacant position exclusively to men.
Grossberg made the move to Tucker Carlson Tonight in September of last year. When interviewing, she was asked if she was good at finding restaurants and bars because the previous occupant of the role essentially served as an “office mom.” Grossberg alleges that she received harassing emails from Carlson’s other senior staff, and that staff regularly held discussions about women in sexist terms. The term “cunt” was invoked liberally, according to Grossberg.
Grossberg’s characterization of the culture at Fox is supported by the slew of internal communications from the network that have become public through the Dominion lawsuit. Hosts including Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity, regularly belittled other members of the network behind their backs in texts and emails.
While Fox News is no stranger to discrimination lawsuits filed by the women on their staff, Grossberg’s claims against the network will likely worsen their already precarious position with Dominion, and there’s no telling how bad the fallout could be.