Fox News producer was forced to spy on Maria Bartiromo, who execs called 'crazy,' 'menopausal,' and 'hysterical,' new lawsuit says
Former Fox News producer Abby Grossberg has filed a discrimination suit against the network.
She alleges that a "poisonous and entrenched patriarchy" at the network allows abuse of female staff.
Grossberg says she was made to spy on host Maria Bartiromo, who execs called "crazy" and "menopausal."
In a discrimination lawsuit filed Monday against Fox News and several of its executives, a former producer at the network said the "poisonous and entrenched patriarchy" at the network allows for the abuse of female staff.
Abby Grossberg said in her lawsuit that she witnessed hostile workplace behavior toward host Maria Bartiromo. Grossberg accused Fox executives of forcing her to spy on the host of "Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo" and report back to executives about her behavior.
Grossberg said Fox executives called Bartiromo names behind the scenes. One producer, the suit says, called Bartiromo "crazy," "menopausal," and said she often became "hysterical," while another described her as a "diva."
A third called Bartiromo a "crazy bitch," per Grossberg.
Ralph Giordano, vice president of news coverage at Fox Business Network, "used his position of power to coerce Ms. Grossberg into spying on Ms. Bartiromo," according to Grossberg's complaint.
Specifically, after the producer was chastised for failing to run a disclaimer about Dominion's denial that its voting system had changed votes in the 2020 election before a segment railing against the company, Giordano told Grossberg he would give her a chance at "a clean start" as long as she reported back to him regarding Bartiromo's activities.
Giordano wasn't the only executive to pit the female staff against each other, Grossberg's lawyers argue in the filing. Jerry Andrews, vice president of weekend news at Fox News Media, is also said to have also requested Grossberg spy on the host.
"On January 25, 2022, Mr. Andrews called Ms. Grossberg and requested that she spy on and document Ms. Bartiromo's actions and report back to him," so that Fox News Media President Lauren Petterson could "get out in front of it," the complaint reads. "In February 2022, Mr. Andrews reiterated his directive to Ms. Grossberg to 'keep an eye' on Ms. Bartiromo and report back anything 'crazy' that she said."
A Fox News spokesperson told Insider in an emailed statement that the network "engaged an independent outside counsel to immediately investigate the concerns raised by Ms. Grossberg, which were made following a critical performance review. We will vigorously defend these claims."
Bartiromo has made headlines lately due to her on-air conduct. Dominion Voting Systems alleged in a February court filing that Bartiromo spread unvetted, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. One incident involved an unsubstantiated source cited by the pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, who sent Fox an email full of wild claims from a woman claiming to be a decapitated time traveler.
Lawyers for Grossberg did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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