Fox News Settles $12 Million Lawsuit Over Sexism Allegations and False Testimony
Fox News reaches a $12 million settlement in a major lawsuit brought by former producer Abby Grossberg, addressing allegations of sexism and false testimony in the Dominion Voting Systems defamation case.
Fox News has reached a settlement of $12 million in response to two major lawsuits filed by former producer Abby Grossberg, as announced by her legal representative on Friday.
Grossberg had alleged that Fox News exerted pressure on her to provide false testimony in the defamation case involving Dominion Voting Systems, while also claiming that the network fostered a deeply misogynistic work environment. The legal action named Fox News, its parent company, former primetime host Tucker Carlson, and several high-ranking executives as defendants.
In a statement accompanying the settlement, Grossberg affirmed her stance on the filed claims and allegations, while agreeing to withdraw the lawsuits as part of the $12 million agreement.
Expressing her satisfaction, Grossberg stated, "I am encouraged by Fox News taking my legal claims seriously. Based on our discussions with Fox News today, I am hopeful that this resolution reflects a positive step towards addressing the treatment of women and minorities in the workplace."
A spokesperson for Fox News confirmed the settlement, expressing contentment in resolving the matter without further legal proceedings. The company had previously refuted Grossberg's claims, denouncing them as "riddled with false allegations."
Earlier this month, CNN reported that Grossberg was finalizing a settlement with the network. This settlement marks the fourth case resolved by Fox and its owners this year, including the highly publicized Dominion defamation case, where the network paid a substantial sum of $787 million. Court records pertaining to Grossberg's federal case in New York indicate her voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit on Friday. She had previously dropped a related state lawsuit filed in Delaware.
The allegations made by Grossberg had significant implications. In late March, she filed explosive lawsuits against her former employer, thrusting the battle into the public eye. Shortly after filing, Grossberg was terminated from her position.
Among the allegations, Grossberg claimed that Fox News lawyers coerced her into providing false testimony in the Dominion case, protecting the company and its top figures. These accusations reverberated within the Dominion case, undermining Fox's position just before the trial and presenting potential evidence of misconduct by the network and its on-air personalities.
During the 2020 campaign, Grossberg served as a senior producer for Maria Bartiromo, whose show propagated false claims regarding a stolen presidential election. Following the election, Grossberg joined "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Fox News' highest-rated program at the time.
Audio recordings made by Grossberg during her tenure with Bartiromo, including off-air conversations with influential Trump officials, were made public during the legal battle. Grossberg's attorney revealed that the Justice Department special counsel expressed interest in obtaining approximately 90 tapes for the investigation into Trump's efforts to overturn the election.
In addition to the Dominion controversy, Grossberg alleged enduring a toxic work environment characterized by sexism and misogyny. She disclosed in a television interview that the harassment she experienced was so severe that she contemplated suicide while working at Fox News.
Grossberg asserted that the hostile environment worsened after she joined Carlson's show. The lawsuits highlighted instances of derogatory language, male colleagues engaging in discussions about the attractiveness of female politicians, and uncomfortable sexual inquiries.
Fox News vehemently denied these allegations during the ongoing litigation.
Following the fallout from the Dominion case, Fox News terminated Carlson in April and canceled his program. Jesse Watters, a right-wing commentator, is scheduled to take over the 8 p.m. hour in the coming month.
Gerry Filippatos, Grossberg's attorney, expressed his deep respect, stating, "It has been the privilege of my career to serve as Abby's legal representative over the past year. I have never encountered a person more courageous, honest, skilled, and dedicated to journalism, and a fiercer advocate for justice."