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Fox settles lawsuit with fired former producer Grossberg for $12 million

Published 06/30/2023, 02:26 PM
Updated 06/30/2023, 04:29 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Fox News channel sign is seen on a television vehicle outside the News Corporation building in New York City, in New York, U.S. November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

By Helen Coster and Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Fox Corp has settled for $12 million a lawsuit by former Fox News producer Abby Grossberg, who had claimed gender discrimination and accused the network's lawyers of pressuring her to make misleading statements in the Dominion Voting Systems case, her lawyer Tanvir Rahman said on Friday.

The deal follows Fox's April 18 agreement to pay Dominion $787.5 million to settle the voting-technology company's defamation suit in Delaware.

A week later, on April 25, Fox announced that it had parted ways with Tucker Carlson, the conservative host whom Dominion had accused of allowing debunked election-fraud claims about the firm to air on his show, while casting doubt on the plausibility of those claims in private messages that emerged in legal filings.

Grossberg was the head of booking guests for Carlson.

“We are pleased that we have been able to resolve this matter without further litigation," a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement.

Grossberg said in a statement: "While I stand by my publicly filed claims and allegations, in light of today's settlement of $12 million, pursuant to which I have now withdrawn those claims, I am heartened that Fox News has taken me and my legal claims seriously.”

Grossberg was fired after filing her lawsuit on March 20 in federal court in Manhattan. She had worked for Fox since 2019.

In firing her, Fox said her legal claims were "riddled with false allegations against Fox and our employees."

In seeking unspecified monetary damages, Grossberg claimed to have been subjected to a hostile and discriminatory work environment. She accused Fox among other things of gender and religious discrimination as well as pay equity violations.

She had also sought unspecified damages in a similar lawsuit in Delaware Superior Court, which she dismissed in May.

Grossberg said that during preparation with Fox lawyers for her September 2022 deposition in the Dominion lawsuit, she felt “coerced and intimidated into not saying anything that would make her become Dominion’s ‘star’ witness.”

Dominion had sued Fox seeking $1.6 billion for promoting false vote-rigging claims involving the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Had the Dominion case gone to trial, Grossberg could have been a key witness.

Grossberg said Fox subjected her to sexism, misogyny and antisemitism.

Carlson was among the defendants in Grossberg's Manhattan lawsuit. The program on which Grossberg worked, "Tucker Carlson Tonight," was the top-rated prime-time U.S. cable TV news show.

Grossberg claimed that Carlson made derogatory comments toward women, and cited incidents such as Carlson's staff discussing whether Michigan's Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, was "hotter" and better at sex than Republican opponent Tudor Dixon.

Grossberg alleged that on her first day on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," she discovered many photographs of octogenarian then-House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi shown in a plunging bathing suit, revealing the Democrat's cleavage, on her computer and elsewhere throughout the office.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Fox News channel sign is seen on a television vehicle outside the News Corporation building in New York City, in New York, U.S. November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

She also alleged that a member of Carlson's staff called Grossberg into his office and asked her whether Maria Bartiromo, whom she had worked for before Carlson, was having sex with Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy, now the U.S. House speaker.

Grossberg alleged that an executive for Carlson's show once remarked that the "mother's room," an office designated for network employees to pump breast milk, was a "waste of space" and should be replaced with a "room of tanning beds for the guys to tan their testicles."

Latest comments

Network television is DEAD!
Fox and another payout - smartmatic left to go - big $$$'s there - another billion or so!
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