As if the Dominion Voting Systems defamation case weren’t already a serious problem for Fox News, a producer named Abby Grossberg added a new wrinkle to the network’s troubles last week by filing a lawsuit of her own.
According to Grossberg, who worked for Tucker Carlson and Maria Bartiromo, Fox not only has a “toxic” workplace culture that includes misogyny and discrimination, the network’s lawyers also “coerced, intimidated, and misinformed” her as they prepared her to testify in the Dominion defamation case.
Fox News has denied her claims, calling the allegations “baseless.” (It also initially filed a suit of its own, seeking a restraining order against Grossberg, hoping to prevent her from disclosing information related to the Dominion case, though that case was later withdrawn.) Her lawyers nevertheless said last week that Grossberg was concerned about having given “false/misleading and evasive answers” during her deposition following prep sessions with Fox’s legal team.
The network fired the producer late last week. This morning, as NBC News reported, the producer also took matters a bit further.
The former Tucker Carlson producer who sued Fox News last week alleging she was pressured into giving misleading testimony about the network’s coverage of supposed election fraud has filed new allegations about coercive coaching by Fox lawyers, bias and unprofessional behavior by staff members, and retaliation by the network.
In the Dominion case, Grossberg participated in a Sept. 14 deposition. This morning, she and her attorneys asked to amend her responses, offering what they characterized as more accurate information, free from network pressure.
“Based on what I understood and took away from the deposition preparation sessions I had with Fox’s legal team which were coercive and intimidating,” Grossberg said in an unredacted errata sheet filed in Delaware, “I felt that I had to do everything possible to avoid becoming the ‘star witness’ for Dominion or else I would be seriously jeopardizing my career at Fox News and would be subjected to worse terms and conditions of employment than male employees as I understood it.”
In her new filing, Grossberg also claims that Fox lawyers wanted her to downplay the importance of ratings in the network’s decision-making and that she felt “pressured to respond with a generic ‘I do not recall’ whenever she had the opportunity, even if she, in fact, did have a recollection, albeit perhaps not a perfect one.”
The amended complaint also alleges that Fox attorneys would repeatedly say to Grossberg, “‘who really can/does recall anything?’” thereby “fraudulently inducing her to deny facts she knew to exist.”
Separately, Dominion’s attorneys asked during the deposition whether she trusted her Fox colleagues. She answered yes in September, but in her amended filing, Grossberg is saying the opposite, accusing the network’s producers of being “activists, not journalists,” adding that they “impose their political agenda on the programing.”
A Fox News spokesperson issued a new response to the latest allegations, which read in part, “We will continue to vigorously defend Fox against Ms. Grossberg’s unmeritorious legal claims, which are riddled with false allegations against Fox and our employees.”
Following up on our coverage from last week, I’m still not in a position to evaluate the producer’s claims on the merits. That said, let’s go ahead and acknowledge the obvious: If her allegations are true, and the network pressured Grossberg into delivering misleading testimony during her deposition, that would be a rather significant development.