Abby Grossberg who works for Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News in the US has filed 2 proceedings against Fox, one in Delaware and one in New York, claiming “Fox’s legal team coerced, intimidated, and misinformed Ms. Grossberg as they “prepared” her in connection” with giving evidence in the Dominion defamation claim against Fox.
This is dynamite and if Abby Grossberg has solid evidence to back up her claims it could torpedo any defence Fox has against the defamation claim and could also lead to criminal charges against Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch and others for threatening a witness to lie under oath. Once one person flips others will likely follow which is another danger for the Murdochs.
The same judge in Delaware who is dealing with the Dominion v Fox defamation matter has also been handed the matter Abby Grossberg filed in Delaware and he said in court on Wednesday “it had been assigned to him because it was “related.”
Fox and Dominion were in court on Wednesday both arguing that the defamation matter should be decided by summary judgment, but it is likely to go to a hearing in April. The judge did make a few comments worth noting:
He said one of Fox’s arguments “doesn’t seem to be intellectually honest.” At another point, he openly questioned how Fox News could argue that former host Lou Dobbs had engaged in legally protected “neutral” reporting when he signed many of his tweets with a MAGA hashtag. (Click here to read more)
Abby Grossberg makes numerous other complaints including “Consistent with Fox News’s long history of tolerating gender harassment and targeting women who report it, Fox News retaliated against Ms. Grossberg after she complained about the unlawful harassment”.
I published the below video (22/3/23) on this matter and at the time Fox had not withdrawn their application to try and suppress Abby Grossberg which they have now withdrawn.
The first 8 paragraphs of Abby Grossberg’s claim are below and give a good background to her claim and you can read her full claim by clicking on the link below.
1. This case is as troubling as it is familiar; it is yet another in the 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.
2. Plaintiff Abby Grossberg, a dedicated and hardworking former Senior Booking Producer on the Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo (“SMFMB”) show and currently the Head of Booking on the Tucker Carlson Tonight (“TCT”) program, endured an extremely hostile work environment under the auspices of senior executives, including the Individual Defendants. Ms. Grossberg was isolated, overworked, undervalued, denied opportunities for promotion, and generally treated significantly worse than her male counterparts, even when those men were less qualified than her.
3. Ultimately, in August 2022, Ms. Grossberg could no longer tolerate the toxic atmosphere victimizing women on SMFMB and sought a fresh start by accepting a position with Tucker Carlson, the veritable face of Fox News. To her dismay, Ms. Grossberg went from the proverbial frying pan into the fire. As Head of Booking on TCT, Ms. Grossberg continued to endure a work environment that subjugates women based on vile sexist stereotypes, typecasts religious minorities and belittles their traditions, and demonstrates little to no regard for those suffering from mental illness. TCT, and its eponymous host, are no strangers to controversy – deemed by some as “the most racist show in the history of cable news.” Mr. Carlson’s derogatory comments towards women, and his disdain for those who dare to object to such misogyny, is well known on the set of TCT.
4. Consistent with Fox News’s long history of tolerating gender harassment and targeting women who report it, Fox News retaliated against Ms. Grossberg after she complained about the unlawful harassment (based on her gender and Jewish religion) to which she was subjected by Alexander McCaskill and Justin Wells, both Producers on TCT. Mere hours after Ms. Grossberg had the courage to speak up to a superior named Thomas Fox, Senior Editorial Producer, she was called into a meeting with Human Resources and presented with a bogus written warning by Monica Mekeel, Senior Vice President of Human Resources (“HR”). Then, even after expressing her concerns to Ms. Mekeel directly, Ms. Grossberg was disregarded and ordered to return to work and face the same environment about which she had just complained, which she had made clear was causing her severe stress and anxiety. Ultimately, feeling ignored and unprotected by Fox News, and suffering from severe anxiety due to the unlawful treatment she received from her male supervisors and colleagues, Ms. Grossberg sought protected FMLA leave supported by her therapist.
5. Moreover, as detailed below, Ms. Grossberg received damaging and woefully inferior and inadequate legal representation (if you can even call it that) as compared to her male counterparts at Fox News. Quite simply, Fox’s legal team coerced, intimidated, and misinformed Ms. Grossberg as they “prepared” her in connection with deposition testimony she gave in the pending defamation case brought by the company known as Dominion, titled U.S. Dominion, Inc. v Fox News Network, LLC, N21C-03-257 (Del. Sup. Ct. Mar. 26, 2021) (“Dominion”), resulting in irretrievable reputational and emotional harm.
6. Then, as if Fox News could not act any more unlawfully, the Network sued Ms. Grossberg in an effort to silence her from telling her story in this lawsuit minutes after she refused to agree to settle her claims alleged herein on Fox News’s terms. There could hardly be a more vivid and clear example of unlawful retaliation.
7. Except Fox News did in fact top its illicit behavior just hours later, as it abruptly placed Ms. Grossberg on forced administrative leave, effectively ending her career at the Network, in a blatant display of unlawful retaliation.
8. Unfortunately for Fox News, Ms. Grossberg refuses to be silenced, and brings this case to obtain vindication for Fox News’s flagrant violations of her rights under the Equal Pay Act. (Click here to read the full court filing)
As per paragraph six above Fox has now discontinued its case against Abby Grossberg trying to silence her. As I said in the above video it would have been futile anyhow.
At the time of finalising this article, it has been reported by the Variety website that Fox has sacked Abby Grossberg for revealing their “privileged communications” in her lawsuit against them. Based on Abby Grossberg’s lawsuit, she has in effect been sacked for exposing criminal conduct by Fox’s lawyers who “coerced, intimidated, and misinformed Ms. Grossberg” to lie under oath so it will be interesting how her termination plays out in court.
This very much feels like the beginning of the end for the Murdochs and their companies and as I wrote a couple of weeks ago the total amount they are being sued for could grow to $30 billion or more in the next year or so.
I have seen reports that at least 4 law firms in the US are advertising for Fox shareholders to contact them for class actions to sue Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch and the other directors for breaching their fiduciary duties. The class actions would be based mostly on the evidence that has been made public during the Dominion defamation case.
The floodgates are starting to open for lawsuits against the Murdochs and their companies in the US and I think they will go on for years and make the hacking lawsuits in the UK, which are still going now after more than 10 years, look like chicken feed.
As you would expect News Corp in Australia, and likely overseas, are not reporting Abby Grossberg’s lawsuits against Fox Corp and Fox News nor are they reporting her sacking. And I can’t find any other Australian media who are reporting the matter. It looks like I was the first and only one to report Abby Grossberg’s lawsuits in the above video I published a couple of days ago (22/3/23) and now this article.
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