Fox News producer says she was pushed to lie about Dominion

Tribune Content Agency

A Fox News producer says the network’s lawyers coerced her into giving misleading testimony in Dominion Voting Systems Inc.’s $1.6 billion lawsuit over the network’s unfounded claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Abby Grossberg, who was a producer for hosts Maria Bartiromo and Tucker Carlson, made her claims in a sex discrimination lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Manhattan.

She filed the complaint a day ahead of a hearing before a Delaware state judge over whether he should decide the Dominion defamation case without a trial scheduled for April 17. Dominion is suing Fox News for airing baseless claims by allies of then-President Donald Trump that the Denver-based voting machine maker participated in a broad conspiracy with Democrats and foreign governments to alter election results in favor of Joe Biden. Fox News denies wrongdoing in the Dominion case.

Fox News said it will vigorously defend itself against Grossberg’s claims.

“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,” the network said in an emailed statement. “Her allegations in connection with the Dominion case are baseless.”

In her suit, Grossberg says that during her preparation for a deposition in the Dominion case, lawyers for Fox News encouraged her to give false and evasive answers. In a coaching session, the lawyers “shook their heads” whenever she answered hypothetical questions “in a manner that was truthful, but implicated others or needed elaboration to explain and/or put into context,” according to the complaint.

Grossberg accused Fox News of perpetuating a tolerance for gender harassment and targeting women who report it. She says part of the network’s strategy in fending off the Dominion suit was to push the blame onto her and Bartiromo, “rather than the mostly male higher ups at Fox News who endorsed the repeated coverage of the lies” about the voting machine company, according to the complaint.

The producer said her suit joins a “long line of cases chronicling the misogynistic environment that permeates Fox News and fosters a toxic workplace where truth remains a fugitive while female workers are verbally violated on almost a daily basis by a poisonous and entrenched patriarchy.”

Hours before Grossberg filed her suit in federal court, Fox News sought an emergency order from a New York state judge to block her from disclosing what the network’s lawyers told her during the deposition prep sessions. The state court didn’t immediately set a date for a hearing.

“Ms. Grossberg has threatened to disclose Fox’s attorney-client privileged information and we filed a temporary restraining order to protect our rights,” Fox News said in its statement.