A senior producer at Fox News who currently works for Tucker Carlson’s show has filed a pair of lawsuits against the network covering multiple allegations – including pressuring her to be evasive in testimony during the Dominion lawsuit, scapegoating her in that lawsuit, and sexual harassment.
Abby Grossberg, who was a producer for Maria Bartiromo during and after the 2020 presidential election, filed the suits on Monday. One was filed in federal court in Manhattan and the other was filed in state court in Delaware. At the same time, Fox filed a suit asking a New York state judge for a restraining order against her in order to “prevent her from publicly disclosing information linked to that suit, filed by Dominion Voting Systems,” according to NPR.
Grossberg is alleging that she left pre-trial prep sessions “believing she should give evasive answers when questioned and avoid talking about what she felt was a lack of staffing and support on Bartiromo’s show.”
“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,” Grossberg’s lawsuit filed in federal court states.
Fox News responded to Grossberg’s suits with a statement.
In a statement issued after Grossberg filed her lawsuits, Fox says, “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.”
Before Grossberg filed her lawsuits on Monday, Fox News had filed one against her, in hopes that she would not reveal publicly what it asserts is confidential information related to the Dominion lawsuit.
The media malpractice of Fox News in the aftermath of the 2020 election has become something of a case study of what not to do to maintain credibility. Hosts were having guests like Sydney Powell on to hype up the stolen election theory, despite virtually every person at the news organization believing it was little more than a conspiracy theory. What’s more, they were (allegedly) doing so out of fear they were losing their audience rather than for any real journalistic value.
In fact, as previously reported, Fox News has been losing a portion of its audience but it’s not because of its reporting. Instead, the polling data suggests it’s because the audience is now aware that Fox hosts were saying one thing while believing another. They have, in fact, damaged their credibility – all because they were trying to chase their audience.
But the lawsuits filed by Grossberg aren’t just about the Dominion case. She is also alleging rampant sexism and misogyny behind the scenes at Fox, including images posted in the workplace that show former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in “a plunging bathing suit revealing her cleavage,” according to the suit (Author’s Note: I sincerely apologize for writing that sentence out and I regret every life choice that has led me to this moment).
According to NPR, Grossberg also alleged that “staffers were polled – on two separate occasions – on which of two female candidates for Michigan governor they would rather have sex with.”
Grossberg’s lawsuit also states that, while being questioned under oath, she was asked to read texts written by Carlson. Those messages showed Carlson felt that Powell was lying, and he referred to her as a “c—,” as well as other derogatory terms. As NPR notes, the Dominion lawyers “asked Grossberg if those messages made her uncomfortable,” and while she told them at the time that they didn’t, Grossberg says differently in her lawsuit.
“In truth, Ms. Grossberg knew full well that Mr. Carlson was very capable of using such disgusting language about women. She also knew how terribly she had felt every time she had heard her prior male superiors and colleagues at Fox News spew misogynistic phrases at her (or within her earshot) on a constant basis,” the lawsuit states. “Ms. Grossberg also knew, however, and was conditioned to constantly remember that she could not do anything to jeopardize her new position, such as becoming Dominion’s ‘star witness,’ so she again kept quiet.”
It’s a strange new turn in Fox News’ legal troubles stemming from the 2020 election and their coverage in the aftermath.