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A day after Fox News filed a complaint with the Supreme Court of New York to silence a Tucker Carlson producer currently suing the network, the conservative cable giant pulled an about-face on Tuesday.
“PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that… Plaintiff Fox News Network, LLC, hereby discontinues this proceeding, without prejudice, and without costs to any party,” Fox lawyers stated in a notice of discontinuance filed on Tuesday in the same court.
Abby Grossberg, a senior producer and head of booking for Tucker Carlson, filed two separate lawsuits against Fox News on Monday evening alleging that the network attempted to have her and her former boss Maria Bartiromo take the fall in the $1.6-billion Dominion defamation suit. According to the producer’s attorneys, as of Monday afternoon the network had placed the top producer on forced administrative leave.
Grossberg accused the network’s lawyers of pushing her to give misleading testimony about Fox’s coverage of baseless election fraud lies during the 2020 election. This effort, the producer alleged, was reflective of the network’s culture of misogyny and discrimination.
Just before her lawsuits were filed in New York and Delaware courts, the network sought a court order to silence her, claiming her legal action “threatened to disclose Fox’s attorney-client privileged information” she shared with the network’s lawyers.
“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, and her allegations in connection with the Dominion case are baseless,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement. “We are confident her legal claims have no merit and FOX News will prevail in these cases.”
After Fox News pulled its complaint on Tuesday, Grossberg’s lawyers Parisis G. Filippatos and Tanvir H. Rahman said in a statement to The Daily Beast: “While our office was fully prepared and ready to argue to the New York Supreme Court why Fox News’s baseless and retaliatory lawsuit seeking to restrain Ms. Grossberg from speaking out about her abhorrent experiences at the Network was frivolous, Fox News wisely decided to give up on its clearly meritless claims against Ms. Grossberg. We remain ready and eager to vindicate Fox News’s blatant and repeated violation of Ms. Grossberg’s rights, including her right to not be baselessly sued in retaliation for complaining about unlawful conduct, in the Southern District of New York and in Delaware Superior Court.”
Grossberg alleged in her lawsuits that she was “coached by and intimidated by” Fox lawyers to give misleading testimony in her Dominion deposition. During her testimony, Grossberg said she didn’t care whether claims made on Bartiromo’s show—where she worked until last year—were true, adding that she also didn’t believe it was important to correct false claims.
According to Grossberg, Fox attorneys pushed her not to mention male executives and on-air hosts in an effort to protect them from blame in the Dominion lawsuit. Additionally, she claimed the network told her to downplay a text exchange with then-senior vice president of weekend news David Clark, who had told her “there will be no ‘fact checking’ today” ahead of a Bartiromo segment featuring Rudy Giuliani.
Grossberg further claimed that she has witnessed rampant misogyny, sexism, and antisemitism at the network. For example, she alleged that Fox brass dismissed Bartiromo as a “crazy bitch” who is “menopausal,” and that the Carlson show staff routinely drops antisemitic jokes or lewd references to the sexual attractiveness of various female public figures.
On her first full day working on Carlson’s show, according to Grossberg’s suits, she noticed that the program’s New York offices featured a picture of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wearing a skimpy swimsuit. She also alleged Justin Wells, Carlson’s top producer, asked her if Bartiromo and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy were having an affair.
Grossberg added that when she filed a complaint about being harassed by two male producers on Carlson’s show, human resources met with her to tell her she was underperforming at her job.
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