Fox News producer accuses network lawyers of ‘coercive’ coaching in Dominion case
A Fox News producer who worked on Tucker Carlson’s flagship show has claimed in a pair of lawsuits that network lawyers “coached” and “intimidated” her into giving misleading testimony in the $1.6bn Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit.
Abby Grossberg, a senior producer and head of booking for Tucker Carlson who has also worked on Maria Bartiromo’s show, alleged that the network attempted to pin the blame for Fox News’s airing of voting conspiracies on her and Bartiromo – an effort that Grossberg says was part of a broader culture of sexism and misogyny at Fox News.
Related: Dominion lawsuit is just the start as Fox faces losing friends – and viewers
The lawsuit was first revealed by Daily Beast’s Confider newsletter, which reported that Fox News filed a counter lawsuit on Monday, seeking a restraining order to prevent Grossberg from revealing conversations she had with network lawyers.
In her lawsuits, filed in Delaware and New York, Grossberg accused Fox News attorneys of coaching her in “a coercive and intimidating manner” before her deposition in the Dominion case.
In an interview with the New York Times on Monday evening, Grossberg said the lawyers had given her the impression that she should avoid mentioning senior Fox executives and Fox News’s on-air hosts – “to protect them from any blame, while putting her own reputation at risk”.
“That’s what the culture is there,” Grossberg told the Times.
“They don’t respect or value women.”
Grossberg said in her lawsuits that bosses at Fox referred to Bartiromo as a “crazy bitch” who was “menopausal”. She said she was told to cut Bartiromo out of coverage discussions. Grossberg further alleged a culture of misogyny behind the scenes on Carlson’s show, where she began working last year.
“On her first full day, according to the lawsuit, Grossberg discovered that the show’s Manhattan work space was decorated with large pictures of Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, then the House speaker, wearing a plunging swimsuit,” the Times reported.
Carlson’s staff repeatedly made jokes about Jews, according to Grossberg’s lawsuit, and held discussions about which female politicians they would rather have sex with. After Grossberg complained about the behavior she was called into a human resources meeting and told she was not performing her duties, she said.
In a statement, a Fox spokesperson said: “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.”
They added: “Ms Grossberg has threatened to disclose Fox’s attorney-client privileged information, and we have filed a temporary restraining order to protect our rights.”