A former Fox News producer suing the channel over her firing in relation to the $1.6bn Dominion Voter Systems defamation case said she was “bullied, intimidated and coerced” into avoiding fact-checks of Donald Trump’s lies about voter fraud in the 2020 election.
“They’re a big corporate machine that destroys people,” Abby Grossberg told NBC.
Grossberg was speaking in an interview to be broadcast in full on NBC Nightly News on Thursday.
Asked why she said in a deposition in the case, given while at Fox News it was not her responsibility to fact-check whether what someone would say on air was true, Grossberg said it felt “awful” to do so.
“It felt terrible because I knew that I was bullied, intimidated and coerced into saying that just to keep my job and stay at the company.”
She added: “I made the decision to keep my job so that I could keep paying my bills. It seemed like the safer decision for me at the time.”
Dominion wants Grossberg to testify in court next month in Delaware, alongside senior Fox executives including the 92-year-old owner, Rupert Murdoch, and his son Lachlan Murdoch.
Filings have revealed how Fox News executives and hosts did not believe Trump’s claims of fraud in his defeat by Joe Biden but allowed hosts and guests to broadcast them anyway.
Fox News has accused Dominion of relying on “cherry-picked quotes without context to generate headlines”.
Arguing that it was broadcasting newsworthy allegations reasonable viewers would have understood were not factual statements, the network has said: “The foundational right to a free press is at stake, and we will continue to fiercely advocate for the first amendment in protecting the role of news organisations to cover the news.”
In response to a request for comment about Grossberg’s claims, Fox News said: “The assertion that Ms Grossberg was coached or intimidated into being dishonest during her Dominion deposition is patently false.
“We will continue to vigorously defend Fox against her unmeritorious legal claims, which are riddled with false allegations against the network and our employees.”
A spokesperson also said Grossberg had been advised she was not authorised to disclose privileged information in her complaint against Fox News.
“We were clear that if she violated our instructions, Fox would take appropriate action including termination,” the spokesperson said.
Grossberg was a booking producer for the Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, then moved to work for Tucker Carlson. In her suit, she describes a misogynistic work culture as well as alleged harassment, retaliation and scapegoating.
“They’re a big corporate machine that destroys people,” she told NBC, adding: “I sat in those meetings. I heard them laugh about tearing apart politicians. Now I know that in those meetings they’re talking about me.”
She added: “It takes a lot of courage, but it also feels really good and really validating to be able to say this isn’t OK.”
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