Fox News Fires Woman Who Accused Network of Coercion

From a New York Times story by Katie Robertson headlined “Fox News Fires Producer Who Accused Network of Coercion”:

Fox News Media has fired a producer who last week accused the network of discrimination and of coercing her into providing misleading testimony in a blockbuster defamation case, according to court documents filed on Monday.

Lawyers for the producer, Abby Grossberg, who had worked for the hosts Maria Bartiromo and Tucker Carlson, said in the complaints that she was fired on Friday in retaliation for a pair of lawsuits she had filed against the company several days earlier.

In those suits, Ms. Grossberg claimed that Fox lawyers had coached her to deflect blame from executives and male hosts in her deposition for Dominion Voting System’s $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox. Dominion says Fox’s coverage repeatedly aired false claims about the company’s election equipment in saying it contributed to widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Ms. Grossberg said in her suits, filed in New York and Delaware, that she and Ms. Bartiromo were being set up to take the fall for Fox’s actions because of the company’s culture of misogyny and discrimination at Fox. She claimed that she endured a toxic environment at Fox and that male producers had harassed her.

As part of the legal filings on Monday, Ms. Grossberg’s lawyers included her errata sheet, which witnesses use to correct mistakes in their depositions. Ms. Grossberg changed her answers to several questions from her deposition in the Dominion case. In one, about whether she trusted the producers at Fox whom she worked with, she changed her answer from “yes” to “no.” The producers, she said in her revised comments, are “activists, not journalists, and impose their political agendas on the programming.”

A Fox News spokeswoman said in a statement that the company’s lawyers had advised Ms. Grossberg that “while she was free to file whatever legal claims she wished,” she was not allowed to disclose privileged information about the Dominion case. “We were clear that if she violated our instructions, Fox would take appropriate action including termination.”

The spokeswoman added that the company would continue to “vigorously defend” itself against Ms. Grossberg’s claims, “which are riddled with false allegations against Fox and our employees.”

Parisis G. Filippatos, a lawyer for Ms. Grossberg, said in a statement: “The frivolous litigation tactics by Fox News punctuate its blatant disregard for the law, which is further underscored by the company’s recent retaliatory firing of Ms. Grossberg.”

The Dominion defamation case is scheduled for trial in April. Fox has denied any wrongdoing, and both parties have asked the judge to rule on the case in their favor before a trial, and are awaiting his decision.

Katie Robertson is a media reporter. She previously worked as an editor and reporter at Bloomberg and News Corporation Australia.


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