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Ex-Fox News producer who sued network claims ‘unconscionable framing’ by lawyers ahead of Dominion deposition in new docs


Washington— A former Fox News producer who filed a pair of lawsuits against the network brings new charges against her: she claims she was unlawfully fired as an act of retaliation and received “unconscionable coaching and coercion” from Fox News lawyers before providing deposition testimony in a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed against the company.

In amended documents in lawsuits filed in New York federal court and Delaware state court, Abby Grossberg detailed Fox News allegations of discrimination, harassment and retaliation against female employees, culminating in her firing March 24.

Grossberg, who worked on Maria Bartiromo’s Sunday morning show on Fox Business Network and later on Tucker Carlson’s primetime nighttime show on Fox News Channel, also included corrections to his Sept. 14 deposition. in Dominion Voting Systems’ libel lawsuit against Fox.

Grossberg claimed she did not receive a copy of her deposition transcript until early March, although she requested it at least six times and then had days to submit an errata sheet, that lists the edits a witness makes to their testimony. The truncated schedule denied her “sufficient time to review the transcript as she was entitled to 30 days to review” state rules, her attorneys wrote in the latest filing in Delaware Superior Court.

In his errata sheet, Grossberg lists as the reason for many changes “unconscionable framing and coercion by Fox’s attorneys”, and said “I felt I had to do everything possible to avoid becoming the” star witness “of Dominion, otherwise I would be seriously jeopardizing my career at Fox News and be subject to conditions of employment worse than those offered to make employees as I understood them.”

Among the answers she corrected was whether she trusted the Fox producers. After Grossberg initially answered “yes”, she changed it to “No, I don’t trust all the producers at Fox”.

“If they are asked to elaborate: they are activists, not journalists and impose their political agendas on the programming,” Grossberg continued. “I also caught someone I worked with plagiarizing, which damaged my confidence in him.”

Grossberg also amended the responses to his show ratings deposition to note that “ratings are discussed constantly at Fox News” and that Fox employees “constantly note how we rated compared to other emissions and to what extent that was what drove our apparently every employer decision.”

In its libel suit against Fox News, Dominion alleged that network executives and hosts knowingly spread false statements about the company after the 2020 presidential election in an attempt to boost its ratings.

Grossberg filed her two lawsuits against Fox last week, alleging the network’s attorneys “coerced, intimidated and misinformed” her while helping her prepare to testify. She claims that Fox News was aiming to shift the blame for the alleged defamation against Dominion away from the “predominantly male top brass” and onto Grossberg and Bartiromo.

She also claimed that she was “isolated, overworked, undervalued, deprived of opportunities for promotion, and generally treated far worse than her male counterparts, even when those men were less qualified than her.”

Grossberg started working at Fox News in 2019, after working for a number of other networks, including CBS News. She was hired as a lead booking producer on Bartiromo’s Sunday morning show, then became head of booking for Carlson’s prime-time program.

But her job at Fox News ended on Friday, when she was fired after the network “realized it couldn’t stop Ms. Grossberg from telling the world her truth in her immutable ‘public records’ — either by intimidation, obfuscation, or baseless attempts at judicial intervention,” his attorneys wrote in their filing in federal court.

A Fox News spokesperson said in a statement that her lawyers informed Grossberg last week that she possessed the network’s insider information and was not authorized to release it.

“We were clear that if she violated our instructions, Fox would take appropriate action, including termination. Ms. Grossberg ignored these communications and chose to file her complaint without taking any steps to protect the parties with the inside information. from Fox,” the spokesperson said. “We will continue to vigorously defend Fox against Ms. Grossberg’s unsubstantiated legal claims, which are riddled with false allegations against Fox and our employees.”

In her lawsuit against Fox, Grossberg alleged that while working on Carlson’s show, male staff members made sexist and demeaning comments, and that she was harassed because of her Jewish faith by the senior producer. of Carlson, Alexander McCaskill.

His amended complaint filed in New York’s federal district court includes a case from late February in which McCaskill saw a video of a woman, GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, doing CrossFit and called her a ‘ “eunuch”.

Grossberg also criticized Carlson’s own language in the corrections to her deposition, writing that her comments offended her, but she “didn’t want to upset the host I worked for, who was very powerful on the network.”

She added that she “had to resign myself to knowing that I would have [to] regularly suffer heinous discrimination and misogynistic remarks for a while just to get ahead on the network. »

Grossberg also includes new details about her sessions with Fox’s attorneys preparing her for her deposition.

During one episode, Grossberg said he was shown two text exchanges from November 8, 2020 and November 9, 2020, to review. While the messages said a segment with Rudy Giuliani, former President Donald Trump’s lawyer after the 2020 election, had been pre-recorded, allowing for editing before it aired, Grossberg claimed Fox’s lawyers News had “coached” her to say it was “live to tape.” “, implying that it could not have been edited before it aired. Giuliani made baseless claims that the 2020 election was plagued by widespread voter fraud during the segment, according to the documents.

“Fox News attorneys were well aware, however, that the implication that they were trying to intimidate Ms. Grossberg into slipping into her testimony was materially misleading,” her amended complaint reads. “Ms. Grossberg felt frightened and confused when attorneys for Fox News tried to enlighten her.”

Grossberg provided more information about Giuliani’s presence on the network in his changes to his deposition testimony, writing that David Clark, Fox News senior vice president for weekend news programming, told him in a text message that Giuliani could stay on the show’s lineup because he had been “cleared at the corporate level to continue appearing on television without a filter.”

She said Clark’s “only concern” was that Giuliani might criticize Fox News for correctly calling Arizona State for President Biden, which sparked a fierce backlash within the network from executives. and some of its anchors. Fox News was the first network to report that Mr. Biden had won Arizona, guaranteeing he would beat Trump for the presidency.


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