Glenn Beck, the Fox News host whose incendiary “Fox & News” talk show became a media sensation last year, has a long history of being at odds with his audience.
While his show has a huge following in the U.S., and has also been cited in a number of lawsuits, the reality TV star and conservative commentator’s show on the cable network has become the center of a new lawsuit against him.
In a lawsuit filed Friday in San Francisco federal court, Beck claims his show is a political weapon against his accusers.
Beck claims he was fired from his job at Fox News in the fall of 2017 because he made remarks on his talk show about alleged sexual harassment allegations against former Fox News producer Gretchen Carlson, and Carlson herself.
Beck’s lawsuit, filed on behalf of Carlson, a former Fox employee who worked at the network from 2005 to 2016, says she was “harassed, intimidated, and subjected to verbal and physical violence.”
The complaint says Carlson was harassed by Beck, who referred to her as a “whore” and “slut” in a 2005 recording and threatened to sue her if she didn’t get off the air.
The complaint claims that Carlson later filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Beck for allegedly trying to “destroy” her career after she left Fox News.
Beck filed the lawsuit after Carlson sued him last year.
According to Carlson’s lawsuit: “In May 2018, after Beck had previously admitted to repeatedly making harassing comments and remarks, Carlson filed a complaint alleging that Beck had retaliated against her for filing a complaint.
According the complaint, Beck subsequently made disparaging comments about Carlson, made lewd comments about her, and made sexually explicit comments about [her] appearance.”
According to the complaint filed by Carlson, in March 2018, she called Beck and asked for him to stop “harrasing, intimidating, and intimidating her and others who had reported Beck to Fox News.”
The lawsuit alleges that in the following months, “Beck attempted to silence [her], which included contacting her friends, and harassing her on Twitter.”
The next month, the complaint says, “He engaged in a series of retaliatory attacks against [her].”
The lawsuit claims Beck “harass[ed] her, intimidated her, threatened to publicly humiliate her, harass [her],” “made sexually explicit and vulgar remarks about her appearance, and sexually abused [her]” and “created an atmosphere of fear, anxiety, and intimidation” by using the “Fox News bully pulpit” to “encourage his audience members to harass, intimidate, and threaten women who spoke out against him.”
The suit alleges that “Beck continued to harass and intimidate” Carlson.
Carlson’s suit alleges she was fired “for violating the law and for violating his employment contract” in October 2018.
Carlson is seeking $5 million in damages.
Beck, a Republican political commentator and former Fox host, is suing his accuser, Carlson, as well as former Fox chief executive Roger Ailes, as part of an ongoing legal battle against the network.
The lawsuit filed by the Fox host accuses Ailes of “engaging in an unlawful pattern of retaliation against” Carlson after she accused him of sexual harassment.
“Ailes and his management team have long harbored a deeply held belief that their personal animus against Ms. Carlson and her family is not based on any merit or legitimate concern for her well-being, and has been willing to ignore the facts of the case and her testimony and to willfully ignore and retaliate against Ms.’s accusers,” the lawsuit states.
The Fox News personality’s attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, told the Associated Press that Beck’s suit “should be dismissed for the lack of merit.”
Beck is represented by former Democratic congressman Alan Grayson.
Beck has said he’s never been accused of sexual misconduct and has not been in any legal action against Ailes.
He has said that he believes his accusors are liars.
The allegations against Carlson are a part of a long string of women who have come forward with allegations of sexual assault by Ailes at Fox, including former host Gretchen Miller and Fox anchor Gretchen Wilson.
Fox has not commented on the suit.
The New York Times first reported on the lawsuit Friday, citing people familiar with the case who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.