(LifeSiteNews) — On the heels of announcing the relaunch of Tucker Carlson’s highly popular show on Twitter, news has surfaced that the ousted Fox News host accused the network of “fraud” and “breach of contract” while demanding documents that suggest intended legal action.
According to a Tuesday report from Axios, attorneys representing Carlson issued an “aggressive letter” to Fox officials that positions the former host to “argue that the noncompete provision in his contract is no longer valid” due to the network’s having “breached the contract first.”
If such a contention prevails, this would allow the formerly top-rated primetime host to launch his own show or media enterprise on a competing network.
Carlson’s present contract with Fox extends until January 2025 and the network wants to keep him bound, with full compensation, in an attempt to prevent him from starting a competing show, though other networks have reportedly made high-dollar offers to acquire him.
According to the outlet, the letter — signed by attorney Bryan Freedman and addressed to Fox officials Viet Dinh and Irena Briganti — alleges Fox employees, including “Rupert Murdoch himself,” broke promises to Carlson “intentionally and with reckless disregard for the truth.”
The report explains further:
- The lawyers accuse Fox executives — which two sources say are Dinh and Murdoch — of making “material representations,” or promises, to Carlson that were intentionally broken, constituting fraud.
- Notably, the letter alleges Fox broke an agreement with Carlson not to leak his private communications to the media and not to use Carlson’s private messages “to take any adverse employment action against him.”
- Multiple outlets have reported on Carlson’s redacted communications from pre-trial discovery documents and have suggested that they led to his ousting.
The attorneys also add that after Fox promised not to make a settlement with Dominion Voting Systems “in a way which would indicate wrongdoing” on the part of Carlson and agreed to refrain from “any actions in a settlement that would harm Carlson’s reputation,” the network betrayed these commitments as well.
Carlson was reportedly informed by a Fox board member that “he was taken off the air as part of the Dominion settlement,” though a Fox News spokesperson later classified this allegation as “categorically false.”
Axios goes on to report that Carlson’s attorneys believe such misrepresentations “amount to a breach of contract because they created additional terms of Carlson’s employment that were then broken by the company.”
“These actions not only breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the Agreement, but give rise to claims for breach of contract, and intentional and negligent misrepresentation,” the letter reportedly states.
Additionally, Carlson’s team also alleges that Briganti, Fox News’ vice president for communications, attempted to “undermine, embarrass, and interfere” with the former host’s future business prospects, which also contributes to the case for breach of contract.
“Make no mistake, we intend to subpoena Ms. Briganti’s cell phone records and related documents, which evidence communications with her and all media, including, but not limited to The New York Times,” the letter reportedly reads.
Finally, Carlson’s attorneys notified the network that since their client is considering litigation, Fox News must immediately ensure “all existing documents and data” pertinent to their relationship with Carlson, including their internal and external communications, must be preserved.
Carlson’s video announcement on Tuesday came just two days after Axios suggested Carlson and Elon Musk, Twitter’s new owner, “had a conversation about working together.” Musk has since denied that the pair have signed any contract, instead stating that Twitter provides commentators like Carlson an open platform on which to share their content.
On this platform, unlike the one-way street of broadcast, people are able to interact, critique and refute whatever is said.
And, of course, anything misleading will get @CommunityNotes.
I also want to be clear that we have not signed a deal of any kind whatsoever. Tucker is… https://t.co/0TMjuYnKUp
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2023
In a Tuesday podcast, Redacted hosts Clayton and Natali Morris pointed out that Carlson’s departure from Fox News has caused the network’s viewership to crater while Carlson’s own viewership on Twitter has spiked.
Natali Morris noted that while Carlson used to draw 3.5 million viewers during his 8:00 p.m. ET time slot, Fox has since seen that primetime number drop off by 56%, bringing in an average of just around 1.3 million viewers.
Meanwhile, Carlson’s April 26 Twitter video posted days after news broke of his ouster from Fox has drawn over 82 million views. That number pales in comparison, however, with the immediate success of the video Carlson posted Tuesday night announcing the relaunch of his show.
By Wednesday afternoon, the video had racked up over 100 million views on Twitter.
The Tuesday video came after several weeks of speculation concerning Carlson’s next moves after news of his abrupt ouster from Fox News sent shockwaves through the news media orbit.
As LifeSiteNews previously reported, Fox News announced Carlson’s departure in an April 24 statement saying that the outlet and Carlson had “agreed to part ways” effective immediately. Carlson’s last broadcast was April 21, giving the hugely popular host no opportunity to bid farewell to his audience during his primetime cable news slot.
In an earlier Twitter video posted several days after leaving Fox, Carlson said that “most of the debates you see on television” are “completely irrelevant” and suggested truly meaningful discussions are squelched under a system that increasingly resembles a “one-party state.”
He argued that true power lies in honesty, and in that honesty can be found hope for the future.
“When honest people say what’s true, calmly and without embarrassment, they become powerful,” Carlson said. “At the same time, the liars who’ve been trying to silence them shrink and they become weaker. That’s the iron law of the universe. True things prevail. Where can you still find Americans saying true things? There aren’t many places left, but there are some and that’s enough. As long as you can hear the words, there is hope.”