Former Fox News employee Diana Falzone filed a gender and disability discrimination lawsuit Monday in New York State Supreme Court, alleging that Fox News cut her loose from the network after she penned an essay detailing her experience with endometriosis.
“The male-dominated senior management of Fox News obviously objected to the fact that a female on-air host had disclosed that she suffers from a women’s reproductive-health condition, which, in their eyes, detracted from her sex appeal and made her less desirable,” the lawsuit alleged.
In a statement, Falzone’s attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, said:
The issues raised in Diana Falzone’s lawsuit are a concern for all women. Fox News never banned her male counterparts who have discussed their personal health issues on air. Indeed, those men saw their careers advance.
Smith previously handled former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment suit against former Fox News chief Roger Ailes. Carlson’s lawsuit was the catalyst in a series of events that led to Ailes’ eventual ouster.
Falzone’s suit also alleged that she was kicked off the air three days after the January article went live, though she claimed that the editorial piece had been approved by the network before it was published.
In the original essay, Falzone detailed her experience with the reproductive disorder that led to infertility.
“It was just days after my 33rd birthday when my doctor delivered the worst news of my life,” she wrote. “I will likely never have a child and fulfill my greatest wish of being a mother. When hit with the news that I am infertile, I could not stop crying. And not only was it very unlikely I’d ever conceive, my health was in jeopardy.”
Falzone claimed that a supervisor at the network notified her that she would never again appear on the network’s website or on camera after the essay was published. Falzone’s lawsuit also claimed that the supervisor told her to seek employment elsewhere, which led Falzone to file a discrimination complaint with the company.
Though Falzone purportedly filed the complaint, the lawsuit stated that Fox refused to put her back on the air and as well as refused to address the issue.
Fox News has been the subject of widespread shake-up over the last year, beginning with the departure of Ailes.
In April, the network removed Bill O’Reilly from his long-running position after allegations surfaced that he paid millions of dollars in settlements to women who made sexual harassment allegations against the 67-year-old news anchor.