Maria Bartiromo Responds to Ex-Fox News Producer’s Allegations
Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo’s team issued a response after a former producer claimed that she used her personal connections with then-President Donald Trump to protect her status within the network.
A former producer, Abby Grossberg, filed a lawsuit against Fox News and several others, including former host Tucker Carlson, for what she alleges was harassment and mistreatment during her time at the network. Since Fox News announced Carlson’s departure last week, Grossberg has conducted several interviews with news outlets and most recently with Time magazine, where she produced her latest allegations against the network and now Bartiromo.
Grossberg, who had worked with Bartiromo before she joined Carlson’s team, claimed Fox News had an environment that was unfavorable to women while discussing Bartiromo. She made similar claims in her lawsuits against the network, filed in the U.S. Southern District of New York.
“If they were marginalizing her, she could always say, ‘I can get the President of the United States on the phone,’” Grossberg claimed to Time magazine. “She had that power over Fox, and it protected her.”
But Bartiromo responded by saying that her allegations were false. The Epoch Times has contacted Fox News for comment.
“I have interviewed four American presidents and several international heads of state during my distinguished career and have had rapports with leading figures across the world,” Bartiromo’s team told news outlets Wednesday in response to Grossberg’s claims to Time magazine. “These allegations are absurd and patently false.”
Fox News also told outlets that Grossberg’s comments were false. The spokesperson said Bartiromo—who worked at CNBC, CNN, and Fox for decades—”does not need to rely on any one person or organization as her contacts reach far and wide.”
In another statement about Grossberg’s assertions, the network also told outlets that it “will vigorously defend Fox against all of her unmeritorious legal claims, which are riddled with false allegations against the network and our employees.”
“Maria Bartiromo has cultivated an extensive list of contacts over the course of 30 years that enable her to connect with numerous sources spanning business and politics … across Republican and Democrats, CEOs to analysts worldwide,” Fox News also said.
Meanwhile, Grossberg became the subject of controversy last week when a lawyer representing her told The Spectator that she never actually met in person with Carlson when she worked for him. The lawyer suggested that because Carlson worked at his personal offices in Maine and Florida, a number of staffers didn’t meet with him personally.
“Like many on the [‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’] staff, Abby never met Tucker Carlson in person because he taped the show from his personal studios in Maine and Florida, and he did not visit Fox’s NY HQ during her time there,” Kimberly A. Catala, a Grossberg attorney, told the news outlet.
The Epoch Times reached her lawyers for comment and one responded by confirming that her comment to the news outlet was accurate, but accused The Spectator and other media outlets of taking them out of context. Her lawyers also said she frequently communicated with Carlson via text messages, phone, and email.
“Since Tucker did not come to the Fox office, he relied on Justin Wells, his executive producer, and others like Alexander McCaskill, senior producer, who were present in the office every day to be his eyes, ears, and mouthpiece, and to convey his ‘tone,’ as they threateningly reminded Ms. Grossberg,” Catala added to the news outlet.
Carlson, who has not publicly responded to her allegations, departed the network last week, according to a news release issued by Fox News. Since then, the Fox News primetime ratings have seen a drop, most recently on Monday night.
Since then, neither Fox News nor Carlson have issued any comments about the split, whether it was amicable, whether Carlson still is under contract at Fox, or if Carlson is free to do other work. Speculation has emerged about why Carlson left the network, and there has been a bevy of what appear to be secretly recorded videos showing Carlson making comments on set, released by the left-wing, anti-Fox organization Media Matters for America.
Last week, Carlson—who is slated to make an appearance at an Alabama fundraiser on Thursday—released a brief video in which he criticized the American media’s coverage in general. He didn’t address Fox, but he did sign off the video by saying “see you soon.”
“The other thing you notice when you take a little time off is how unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are,” he said. “They’re completely irrelevant. They mean nothing. In five years, we won’t even remember that we had them. Trust me, as someone who has participated.”