The mudslinging between Tomi Lahren and Glenn Beck, her former boss at the Blaze, began with the young conservative firebrand declaring herself “pro-choice” on “The View” last month and escalated into a court battle over, among other things, her Facebook page.
After Lahren’s appearance on “The View,” her show, “Tomi,” was pulled off the air for a week, and later canceled entirely. She filed a wrongful termination lawsuit last week.
Now, Beck and the Blaze, his conservative media firm, are firing back.
In a countersuit filed Monday in Dallas County civil court, they claim that Lahren’s history of insubordination rather than her comments favoring abortion rights pushed them to cancel the show.
The suit claims that Lauren refused to work with on-staff makeup artists, was “divisive and created conflicts” with other Blaze “personalities,” her “word choices on air had to be addressed repeatedly for bordering on profane,” she was “inappropriate and unprofessional” to the television floor crew, she turned down advertisers for “unexplained reasons” and that “many employees” overheard her complaining about the company.
Her comments on “The View,” according to court documents, “were simply the latest in a series of events that led The Blaze management” not to extend her contract beyond its expiration in September 2017.
Contrary to Lahren’s claims in her wrongful termination lawsuit, the Blaze argues that she was not fired, but suspended indefinitely. The Blaze was proceeding under the “pay or play” provision in her contract, it claims, which allows it to withhold the broadcast of her show as long as it continues to pay her through the duration of her contract.
Attorneys for the Blaze and Beck also argue that Lahren’s access to her social media accounts, in particular her Facebook page, had not been revoked. Lahren had previously alleged that she had been cut off from the Facebook page, which has 4.3 million followers, and was instructed to remain silent.
The counterclaim states that the Blaze “NEVER” removed Lahren’s access and that the only restrictions she faced were ones outlined in her contract. That contract, the claim alleges, included a nondisclosure agreement that barred her from bringing “any publicity” to the Blaze and instructed her not to “disparage, criticize, ridicule or make any negative comments about The Blaze, Beck or any of his employees or family members.”
Lahren’s attorneys, however, say she never signed the nondisclosure agreement.
Beck and the Blaze are seeking attorney fees and say she created damages in an “amount that is not presently ascertainable,” according to court documents.
Monday also brought a win for Lahren, though, when Civil District Court Judge Martin Hoffman ordered a temporary restraining order instructing Beck and the Blaze to let her post to her Facebook page, reported the Dallas Morning News.
For her part, Lahren may not criticize Beck or his company; they can’t attack her either.
Hoffman, however, did not rule on who has legal control over the Facebook page, or whether Lahren must remain under contract, which she sought to dissolve in her lawsuit.
The wildly popular online commentator, who rose to fame through incendiary hot-takes criticizing liberals, wants to seek a job elsewhere before her contract expires with the Blaze in September. Her attorneys argued that after six months of silence, she would be politically irrelevant and her employment prospects nonexistent.
“In six months, nobody will have heard of you,” Lahren’s attorney, Brian Lauten, argued at a court hearing, according to the Morning News. “When Glenn Beck’s done with you in six months, nobody will have remembered you. That’s wrong.”
There will be another hearing in the case in two weeks, reported the Morning News, where witnesses will be called.
More from Morning Mix