Fox News sued a Tucker Carlson producer named in the Dominion lawsuit for threatening to expose its legal secrets
- Fox News says Abby Grossberg threatened to file a discrimination lawsuit that will reveal secrets.
- The network only says she's threatening to spill privileged information from an "unrelated lawsuit."
Fox News Network sued one of its own producers to try to get a court to stop her from filing a lawsuit that could contain privileged information.
The network sued Abby Grossberg on Monday, claiming that she has threatened to sue Fox News for discrimination and retaliation. Fox News didn't go into detail on her lawsuit plans or her allegations, but said her lawyer has threatened to include details from confidential conversations she had with Fox News attorneys.
"Ms. Grossberg has threatened to disclose FOX News Media's attorney-client privileged information and we have filed a temporary restraining order to protect our rights," a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement to Insider.
Grossberg, a former top producer for Maria Bartiromo who now works on Tucker Carlson's show, met with Fox News's lawyers at least three times and was deposed in September in connection with Dominion Voting Systems's $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox. Fox News's suit against Grossberg didn't mention Dominion, referring only to an "unrelated lawsuit," but details in its complaint and in the record of the Dominion lawsuit make the connection clear.
Parisis G. Filippatos, a lawyer for Grossberg, said Fox's complaint was "another flagrant attempt to chill her from exercising her rights to free herself from the toxic work environment at Fox News."
"All of the issues coyly addressed by Fox's lawsuit today will be fully aired in the appropriate courts of law in the very near future," he told Insider. "We look forward to justice being done."
Dominion sued Fox News and its parent company, Fox Corporation, in March 2021, alleging it defamed the election technology company when its hosts allowed Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, two pro-Trump lawyers, to come on air. Powell and Giuliani pushed a false conspiracy theory claiming Dominion flipped votes from then-President Donald Trump to now-President Joe Biden, and Fox News hosts didn't sufficiently push back on the claims, Dominion alleges.
Fox News has argued that it was fairly reporting on explosive claims made by the sitting US president and that Dominion's lawsuit amounts to an assault on free speech.
Grossberg has worked at Fox News as a producer and booker since March 2019, according to Monday's filing. In her deposition for the Dominion lawsuit, Dominion's attorneys grilled her about an email Powell sent to Bartiromo from a person who claimed to hear ghosts (she didn't remember it), whether guests should be vetted before going on air ("it was up to the audience to decide"), and whether it's important to correct the record if a guest said something untrue on one of her shows ("No").
One of Dominion's briefs also included texts between her and Baritromo discussing what Fox News viewers wanted to watch.
"To be honest, our audience doesn't want to hear about a peaceful transition," Grossberg texted Bartiromo in the aftermath of the 2020 election, according to Dominion. The company claims Bartiromo responded: "Yes, agree."
It's not the first preemptive lawsuit involving a Fox News staffer. Andrea Mackris, who accused Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment in 2004, filed her lawsuit several hours after O'Reilly accused her and her lawyer of extortion.
A representative for Dominion declined to comment on the lawsuit.
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