Fox News has threatened its former lead anchor Tucker Carlson, sending his legal team a letter that said he is in breach of contract after releasing an episode of his new show that he’s hosting on Twitter.
A source who is familiar with the situation told NBC News this week that Fox News sent the letter on Wednesday, not long after the first episode of Carlson’s new show went live. The media outlet fired Carlson from the network back in April, only a few days after its $800 million settlement agreement with Dominion Voting Systems.
That settlement came after Dominion had sued Fox News for more than $1.5 billion for defamation over false statements they say the network and its anchors made on air.
Bernard Gugar, who serves as the general counsel for Fox News, sent the letter to Carlson’s legal team. The letter said he was “in breach” of his Fox News contract. That was originally signed back in November of 2019 and was later amended in February of 2021.
In response to the letter, Bryan Freedman, who’s serving as Carlson’s attorney, said that any legal action that Fox News takes against his client would infringe on his rights under the First Amendment. As Freedman said:
“Fox defends its very existence on freedom of speech grounds. Now, they want to take Tucker Carlson’s right to speak freely away from him because he took to social media to share his thoughts on current events.”
On Tuesday night, Carlson released a video on Twitter that was about 10 minutes long. It was titled “Ep. 1,” apparently alluding to the fact that the former Fox News firebrand would be hosting a regular show on the popular social media platform.
It’s not an altogether surprise that Carlson would take his talents there, as rumors swirled a few weeks ago that he was meeting with Twitter’s owner Elon Musk and discussing his career future.
After the first episode went live on Twitter, Musk tweeted that it “would be great to have shows from all parts of the political spectrum on this platform!”
During that episode, Carlson claimed – though he didn’t provide any evidence to back it up – that Ukraine was responsible for attacking the large dam in territory that’s currently occupied by the Russians. The dam breach has unleashed many devastating floods in the region.
U.S. intelligence officials have said that the information they have been able to gather about the situation actually suggests that Russia is responsible for the attack. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, has also said that Russia carried out that attack on the dam.
Russia has denied that it was involved at all in the attack on the dam.
On May 9, Carlson posted a video on the social media platform that announced he would be creating his own show on Twitter. The title of that video was “We’re back.”
It ended speculation about where Carlson would go next after being fired by Fox News, though it’s possible he may have to stop producing that show if the conservative media outlet ends up suing him for breach of contract.