The producer claims that Fox News attorneys coached her to provide “evasive” answers before testifying in Dominion Voting System’s defamation claim, effectively making her a scapegoat in Dominion’s multibillion-dollar lawsuit.
A senior producer for Fox News host Tucker Carlson has filed a lawsuit against the network, alleging that the conservative channel tried to use her and other women as scapegoats in an ongoing defamation claim.
According to National Public Radio, the producer’s lawsuit relates to Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation claim against Fox.
In its claim, Dominion has alleged that Fox News knowingly and negligently allowed its personalities to propagate unfounded conspiracy theories relating to the 2020 presidential election.
Several Fox News hosts and guests, for instance, speculated that Dominion Voting Systems had somehow tampered with ballots, counting more for Joe Biden than he had actually earned.
Dominion has since claimed that Fox’s purportedly biased coverage devastated its reputation and cost it massive amounts of money in lost economic opportunities.
N.P.R. notes that a trial is scheduled to begin in April.
The producer in the latest lawsuit, identified by National Public Radio as Abby Grossberg, is a key witness in the trial.
Fox News had initially sought a restraining order against Grossberg, hoping that the court would prohibit her from testifying against the network.
However, attorneys for Fox dropped the claim earlier this week.
Grossberg, adds N.P.R., worked for both Tucker Carlson and Fox News star Maria Bartiromo.
Bartiromo was among the network’s most vocal proponents of election-related conspiracy theories, repeatedly hosting guests who espoused baseless claims that Dominion had tampered with the election results.
According to Grossberg, Sidney Powell—a former Trump attorney who also accused Dominion of election interference—provided Bartiromo with a “pretty wackadoodle” memo detailing her beliefs.
The memo, said Grossberg, was written by a woman who said she could “talk with the wind,” and who appears to have acknowledged that her election-related theories seemed at least somewhat implausible.
During a September 2022 deposition, Grossberg told Dominion’s attorneys that she did not believe that the memo should have ever served as the basis of any news coverage.
“This isn’t something that I would use right now as reportable for air, no, it’s not,” Grossberg said.
Grossberg also told the court that she did not believe it was important for her or any other Fox producers to correct falsehoods aired on network television shows.
Now, Grossberg said that Fox’s legal team effectively coached her to provide “evasive” testimony during their pre-deposition training sessions.
“Ms. Grossberg left the deposition preparation sessions without knowing that by giving such false/misleading and evasive answers like the ones Fox’s legal team reacted to positively to during the prep sessions, she not only opened herself up to civil and criminal liability for perjury, but was subtly shifting all responsibility for the alleged defamation against Dominion onto her shoulders, and by implication, those of her trusted female colleague, Ms. Bartiromo, rather than the mostly male higher ups at Fox News who endorsed the repeated coverage of the lies against the Dominion,” the lawsuit states.
Grossberg also claims that, while her male colleagues were given the opportunity to review and correct transcripts after depositions had concluded, she was not extended a similar courtesy until after Dominion had already cited her testimony in its court briefs.
Fox News purportedly tried to pre-empt Grossberg’s lawsuit by filing its own complaint, which was withdrawn on Tuesday.