Tucker Carlson risks being dumped by the lawyers defending him in a suit by a former Fox News producer, thanks to his recent firing, an attorney for the producer says.
Baker McKenzie lawyers are currently representing Carlson and Fox News in the civil suit filed by Abby Grossberg, the former head of booking for Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” program. Grossberg’s lawyer says that presents a conflict, now that Carlson has accused Fox of fraud and breach of contract stemming from his April 24 firing.
“It is our belief that Mr. Carlson may need to obtain independent legal counsel, given the conflictual nature of his relationship with his now former employer Fox News Network, Parisis Filippatos said in a May 9 letter to Judge Jesse Furman.
Baker McKenzie and its two lead attorneys on the case, New York-based partners Paul Evans and Krissy Katzenstein, didn’t respond to requests for comment. Furman ordered the firm to respond to the letter by May 12.
Grossberg alleges in her lawsuit that Carlson and others at Fox fostered an “overtly misogynistic work environment” and that she suffered “countless” examples of sexism and antisemitism while employed by the news network.
Grossberg was fired soon after filing that suit and another in Delaware, which she has since dropped. The second suit accused Fox executives of pressuring her to lie in a deposition.
Filippatos, a White Plains, N.Y. employment lawyer, said Baker McKenzie “seems to be engaged in a likely conflict” that could harm his client by delaying the case.
Filippatos said Baker McKenzie hasn’t responded to two inquiries about the firm’s continued representation of Carlson.
Carlson parted ways with Fox shortly after the company agreed to pay nearly $788 million to settle a defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems Inc. over lies it broadcast about the 2020 election. Dominion lawyers uncovered evidence that Carlson insulted his Fox management, along with his colleagues and guests.
Filippatos in a May 5 letter to Evans and Katzenstein, cited separate leaks of racist statements by Carlson, which Filippatos said “presumably” came from the network. The leaks “clearly indicate the existence of an inherent and unwaivable conflict of interest between Fox News and Mr. Carlson, which would make your joint representation of those two parties highly problematic for various reasons.”
A lawyer for Carlson sent Fox a letter accusing the network of fraud and breach of contract, Axios reported Tuesday.
Bryan Freedman, who represents Carlson in his employment squabble with Fox, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The case is Grossberg v. Fox Corp., S.D.N.Y., 1:23-02368, 5/9/23
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