Fox News producer says network coerced her testimony in Dominion case
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) -A Fox News producer filed a lawsuit accusing network lawyers of pressuring her to provide misleading testimony in a lawsuit accusing Fox of promoting Donald Trump's false claims of election fraud.
The accusations by Abby Grossberg, who has been Tucker Carlson's head of booking, appeared in complaints filed on Monday night in Manhattan federal court and Delaware Superior Court.
Grossberg said Fox put her on administrative leave on Monday, effectively ending her career there.
Fox is defending in the Delaware court against Dominion Voting Systems' $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit for airing accusations that the company's voting machines were used to rig the 2020 U.S. presidential election, where Joe Biden beat Trump.
Grossberg said Fox lawyers' coaching and intimidation prior to her September 2022 deposition left her "feeling pressured not to name names or to implicate others, in particular prominent male on-air personalities and Fox News executives."
She also said Fox exposed her and others to rampant sexism and misogyny.
Grossberg cited an alleged discussion among Carlson's staff last October over whether Michigan's Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer or her Republican opponent Tudor Dixon was "hotter" and a better sex partner.
Carlson, Fox's top prime-time host, is among the defendants in the Manhattan lawsuit, which said he has made derogatory comments toward women like former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell.
The lawsuit also discussed male superiors making sexist statements about Fox host Maria Bartiromo, including that she was a diva, crazy and "menopausal."
Grossberg had been a senior booking producer for Bartiromo before joining Carlson's team.
" 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," Fox said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Her allegations in connection with the Dominion case are baseless and we will vigorously defend Fox against all of her claims."
Hours before Grossberg sued, Fox filed its own lawsuit in a New York state court in Manhattan to stop her from revealing privileged discussions with its lawyers.
Fox discontinued that case on Tuesday after Grossberg's accusations became public.
Her lawsuits seek unspecified compensatory, punitive and triple damages. They were reported earlier by the New York Times and CNN.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)