By resolving Grossberg’s New York-based lawsuit — on the heels of settling a large defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Techniques for $787.5 million in April — Fox avoids a authorized battle that might have shed extra gentle on its workplace tradition. Grossberg’s account of a sexist surroundings echoed tales shared by a number of feminine workers in 2016 and 2017, when highly effective community co-founder Roger Ailes and prime-time star Invoice O’Reilly have been pressured out by allegations of sexual harassment.
Grossberg filed a separate go well with in opposition to Fox in March in Delaware, accusing the community’s attorneys of teaching her forward of her deposition within the Dominion case, which focused bogus on-air claims of fraud within the 2020 presidential election. Grossberg dropped that go well with in Could however would have had the choice to refile it. Underneath the settlement, she agreed not to take action.
“We’re happy that we’ve got been in a position to resolve this matter with out additional litigation,” a Fox Information spokesperson stated Friday afternoon.
Grossberg’s discrimination go well with made claims of an “overtly misogynistic” surroundings on Carlson’s manufacturing group, which she joined in September 2022, the place “the employees’s distaste and disdain for ladies infiltrated virtually each workday determination.”
She claimed that when she first began working for Carlson, she discovered the workplace plastered with massive photos of then-Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi “in a plunging bathing go well with revealing her cleavage.” She additionally alleged that male colleagues brazenly critiqued the seems and intercourse enchantment of outstanding feminine politicians in addition to their feminine co-workers, and that an government requested her “uncomfortable” questions in regards to the intercourse lifetime of Fox host Maria Bartiromo, who was her boss on the time.
Fox stated that Grossberg’s claims have been “riddled with false allegations in opposition to Fox and our workers” and fired her, accusing her of unveiling protected details about Fox’s authorized course of in her Dominion-focused lawsuit.
Grossberg’s lawyer, Parisis G. Filippatos, stated Friday that he had been wanting ahead to litigating the case. “It has been the distinction of my profession to function Abby’s legal professional over the previous yr — a extra brave and trustworthy individual, expert and devoted journalist, and fierce advocate for justice I’ve by no means met,” he stated in a press release.
Grossberg had emerged as a outstanding critic of Fox after submitting her fits, showing on NBC Information and MSNBC. She known as Fox Information “an enormous company machine that destroys folks.” When Carlson was fired by Fox Information on April 24, Grossberg stated on Nicolle Wallace’s MSNBC present that “there’s a feeling of justice, but it surely’s solely partial.”
Grossberg was subpoenaed by Dominion final yr to debate her work as a producer on televised segments during which Bartiromo and visitors mentioned far-fetched and unproven claims of election fraud. However in her deposition prep classes, the producer claimed, Fox attorneys “have been displeased along with her being too candid” and took further time “to ensure she obtained her story straight and according to [Fox’s] place.”
Grossberg’s case in opposition to Fox, within the Southern District of New York, was at an early stage. Late final month, Fox requested — and was granted — a 45-day delay in responding to the lawsuit. A pretrial convention was scheduled for Aug. 3.
The amount of cash awarded to Grossberg is on a scale with settlements gained by extra outstanding Fox Information workers who resolved disputes with the community.
Fox Information agreed to a roughly $15 million settlement with Melissa Francis, a former on-air persona who complained about gender-based pay disparities on the cable information community, The Washington Submit reported final yr. In 2016, the community paid $20 million to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former anchor Gretchen Carlson in opposition to Ailes, then the chairman of the community.
The community issued an apology to Carlson; no such apology was made as a part of the Grossberg decision.
On Friday afternoon, Gretchen Carlson said on Twitter that she was “proud” of Grossberg “for her bravery in coming ahead about dangerous conduct at Fox, together with the identical type of sexism & misogyny [she] introduced forth 7 years in the past.”
Commenting on the sum Fox paid to Grossberg, Carlson stated, “You don’t pay $12m with out critical proof.”
Sarah Ellison contributed to this report.