Judge blasts Fox for trying to redact discrimination complaint that was already released
Maria Bartiromo. (Jacqueline Zaccor/Flickr)

On Thursday, Federal District Judge Jesse Furman rebuked Fox News for trying to redact portions of a discrimination complaint filed against them that had already been made public.

The original request for a redaction was reported on Thursday by Above The Law.

"Yesterday, the company filed a motion to seal portions of the employment discrimination case filed on Monday by Abby Grossberg, a former booker for Tucker Carlson and Maria Bartiromo. Grossberg alleges widespread sex discrimination at the network, as well as a a hostile work environment where derogatory comments about women and Jews was pervasive. But it’s allegations about conduct by Fox’s lawyers as they prepared Grossberg to be deposed in the $1.6 billion Dominion defamation suit which have the network flipping out," reported Liz Dye.

Specifically, they wanted to strike the portions in which Grossberg alleged lawyers for the network coached her to "not recall" information when deposed in Dominion Voting Systems' lawsuit against the network for pushing election conspiracy theories — an allegation that upends Fox's defense of its actions and provides further evidence that the network understood the information it was pushing to viewers was false.

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But in a memorandum this evening, Furman told Fox's legal team the bell cannot be unrung.

"The information they seek to seal is already in the public domain," wrote Furman, noting that the details of Grossberg's lawsuit were already reported by The New York Times. "Put simply, the Court cannot put the genie back in the bottle and 'make what has ... become public private again.' Gambale v. Deutsche Bank AG, 377 F.3d 133, 144 (2d Cir. 2004)."

This comes after Dominion itself complained to another judge that Fox is abusing redaction requests to try to conceal information that is "embarrassing" to the network.

Fox denies frivolous redactions, claiming that hundreds of communications are already in the public record that the network's attorneys are not challenging. They also maintain they have not defamed Dominion, saying that their reporting is covered by the First Amendment and they were simply informing people of a controversy.

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