Firebrand conservative TV personality Tomi Lahren is suing her former employer, Glenn Beck. Her lawsuit, filed Friday in Dallas County district court, accuses Beck and his online and TV network, The Blaze, of wrongfully terminating Lahren after she made a controversial appearance on ABC's The View. During her March 17 guest stint, Lahren told The View's hosts that, despite her conservative bona fides, she was, in fact, a supporter of abortion rights.
“I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies,” she said during the episode.
Immediately after her statements, Lahren says in her lawsuit, a producer for The Blaze who traveled with her to New York for her appearance was "supportive of her participation." Many of Lahren's colleagues, according to the suit, sent her positive emails after her appearance. Despite that support, however, The Blaze's human resources department informed Lahren a few days later that she'd been suspended indefinitely and didn't need to return to The Blaze's office.
"[Lahren] was understandably disappointed, saddened, and in shock for being suspended for freely expressing her opinions, which certainly reconcile with what is the law of the land in the United States i.e., a woman’s constitutional right to choose and in no way inconsistent with any of Plaintiff’s obligations under the Employment Contract," the suit says.
A few days later, following Beck's claim on his radio show that Lahren's comments reflected a recent change in her views, Lahren says she was fired, told she wasn't going to do any more shows, but informed that she would still be paid. All she had to do, she was told, was stay off her social media accounts, each of which has millions of followers or subscribers.
"Distilled to its essence, Defendants wrongly insisted, with no legal support, that Plaintiff 'go dark' on social media. Notably, none of these admonitions are grounded in any legal basis that can be supported by the Employment Contract," Lahren's suit says.
Lahren's colleagues at The Blaze placed an "X" made from police caution tape on Lahren's office door, according to the suit.
"Beck and others within The Blaze embarked on a public smear campaign attacking Plaintiff and chastising her political views and opinions in a clear attempt to embarrass, humiliate, and undermine Plaintiff’s reach to her audience on social media and elsewhere. Beck and others associated with The Blaze have continued to knowingly, intentionally, and/or consciously attack Plaintiff in wrongful retaliation for Plaintiff having expressed her personal viewpoint on a public television show," Lahren says in court documents.
In a statement issued late Friday, The Blaze said Lahren had not be fired.
"It is puzzling that an employee who remains under contract (and is still being paid) has sued us for being fired, especially when we continue to comply fully with the terms of our agreement with her," the statement said.
Lahren's lawsuit seeks the immediate issue of a temporary restraining order barring The Blaze from interfering with her free speech rights with regard to her social media presence and stopping The Blaze and its representatives from destroying anything in their possession which might eventually become evidence in the case.
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