Fox News producer sues network, alleging sexism and coerced misleading testimony in lawsuit

·3 min read

A senior Fox News producer is suing the network, alleging that it coerced her to provide misleading testimony in an ongoing defamation case over the network’s airing of baseless claims about election fraud.

The two lawsuits, filed by Abby Grossberg in the Southern District of New York and the Superior Court of Delaware on Monday, claim Fox sought to set up Grossberg as a scapegoat so she “takes the fall” in the ongoing defamation lawsuit.

Fox News filed its own lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court on Monday, seeking a restraining order against Grossberg to prevent her from publicly disclosing information related to the defamation case.

FILE - A headline about President Donald Trump is displayed outside Fox News studios in New York on Nov. 28, 2018. Documents in defamation lawsuit illustrate pressures faced by Fox News journalists in the weeks after the 2020 presidential election. The network was on a collision course between giving its conservative audience what it wanted and reporting uncomfortable truths about then-President Donald Trump and his false fraud claims. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
FILE - A headline about President Donald Trump is displayed outside Fox News studios in New York on Nov. 28, 2018. Documents in defamation lawsuit illustrate pressures faced by Fox News journalists in the weeks after the 2020 presidential election. The network was on a collision course between giving its conservative audience what it wanted and reporting uncomfortable truths about then-President Donald Trump and his false fraud claims. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

What is the Dominion defamation case against Fox News?

After it became clear in the 2020 election that former President Donald Trump lost his reelection bid to now President-Joe Biden, Dominion Voting Systems became central to Trump and his allies’ false claims of election fraud.

Trump and his allies baselessly asserted that the private voting machine manufacturer conspired with Democrats to rig its machines to secure a victory for Biden.

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Fox News was one of multiple networks that aired those claims. In response, the company filed seven defamation lawsuitsagainst Fox News, other networks and allies of Trump that says those claims caused “severe damage” to the company.

Dominion Voting ballot-counting machines are shown at a Torrance County warehouse during election equipment testing with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022.
Dominion Voting ballot-counting machines are shown at a Torrance County warehouse during election equipment testing with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022.

Producer claims she was 'coached' to provide misleading testimony

Grossberg alleges that during her time at Fox News as a producer at both “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight”, she endured a “a toxic workplace where truth remains a fugitive.”

During the 2020 election, when the network aired unfounded claims of election fraud, Grossberg worked as a senior booking producer with Maria Bartiromo’s show. As Dominion’s lawsuit progressed, Grossberg was ordered for a deposition in connection with the suit last August.

'Shockingly reckless': Fox News hosts privately shot down Trump's 'big lie' over election fraud

A person walks past the Fox News Headquarters at the News Corporation building in New York City on March 9, 2023.
A person walks past the Fox News Headquarters at the News Corporation building in New York City on March 9, 2023.

Leading up to the deposition, Grossberg had preparation sessions with Fox News' lawyers that the suit alleges “intimidated” and “coached” her into providing misleading testimony in order to shift the blame to her and Bartiromo.

“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 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,” the suit reads.

Lawsuit describes Fox as misogynistic and toxic work environment

Grossberg is now on administrative leave, which the suit alleges was in response to her claims made against the network. In addition to the claims related to the Dominion defamation case, the suit also accuses that Fox’s workplace culture caused Grossberg to be “significantly damaged – economically, emotionally, and reputationally.”

The allegations take particular aim at Tucker Carlson and his show which had “a work environment that subjugates women based on vile sexist stereotypes, typecasts religious minorities and belittles their traditions, and demonstrates little to no regard for those suffering from mental illness.”

Fox News has denied those claims, telling USA TODAY in a statement the allegations related to the Dominion case are "baseless."

"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. We are confident her legal claims have no merit and Fox News will prevail in these cases," said a Fox News spokesperson.

Tucker Carlson hosts a highly rated conservative opinion show on Fox News.
Tucker Carlson hosts a highly rated conservative opinion show on Fox News.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fox News producer sues network, claims she was set up in Dominion suit