“If Doug thinks he’s at war,” the statement said, “why does he contact us every two weeks asking for millions (40 percent for him) in exchange for peace?”
Television viewers have long been familiar with Fox’s public product, but for more than a decade, there have also been persistent glimpses of its private culture as numerous women have come forward accusing men like Mr. Ailes — or the host Eric Bolling, who was ousted this month after sending lewd text messages to female colleagues — of predatory sexual misconduct. As Mr. Ailes did before he died in May, Mr. Bolling has denied the allegations.
The accusations by Mr. Wigdor’s clients — former news anchors, former news analysts, former accounting department employees — have only deepened the portrait of a toxic culture. One of the people he represents, a regular guest political commentator, says the network retaliated against her after she lodged a rape claim against a Fox Business host. Another, a Bangladeshi payroll worker, says a colleague once referred to him as a “terrorist.” In lawsuits that run to nearly 300 pages, there are charges that the network demoted a freelance reporter at Fox 5 News, its New York affiliate, after she became pregnant; that Fox’s former comptroller repeatedly ridiculed black and Hispanic colleagues; and that some Fox journalists conspired with the White House to produce fake news.
The network has denied these charges and in each of the cases has promised to “vigorously defend” itself. On Monday night, it filed a motion to dismiss the fake news suit, calling it “without merit and legally insufficient.” Two days later, one of the defendants in the suit asked a court to professionally sanction Mr. Wigdor for having whipped up a media frenzy over what he claimed was a “false narrative.” Using the media is one of his favorite tactics, and he has on occasion included details in his complaints — about his defendants’ sex lives, for example — that are sensational and embarrassing but not necessarily legally relevant.
At 48, Mr. Wigdor has found himself as the courtroom general leading an army of Fox complainants largely because of his reputation as one of New York City’s most aggressive employment lawyers. During his career, he has filed gender discrimination suits against Deutsche Bank and Citigroup (both of which, like many of his lawsuits, were settled without a claim of liability), and…