DALLAS (CN) – Conservative commentator Tomi Lahren sued Glenn Beck and TheBlaze network Friday, claiming she was fired without cause after supporting abortion rights on ABC’s “The View.”
Lahren, of Dallas, said her contract with TheBlaze was to run through Sept. 30. She hosted “Tomi” on Beck’s network until being removed in March, and previously hosted “On Point with Tomi Lahren” on the conservative One America News Network.
In her lawsuit in Dallas County Court, Lahren says her firing was “motivated by an unlawful animus and specific intent to inflate Beck’s profile, from what has become a mediocre following,” at her expense. She says her contract states she can only be fired for cause.
“(P)laintiff expressing her First Amendment rights and her personal opinions about a woman’s right to choose is not a ‘for cause’ ground to support either a suspension or a de-facto termination of plaintiff’s employment,” the complaint states. “Accordingly, as a proximate cause of TBI’s [TheBlaze’s] unlawful conduct, with the participation, concert, and/or encouragement of Beck, TBI has materially and wrongfully breached the employment contract, excusing plaintiff from further performance thereunder.”
During her March 17 guest appearance on “The View,” Lahrens was asked about her position on 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.
Lahrens says she was informed by TheBlaze’s human resources director within days that she was suspended indefinitely because of her opinion. She says she was fired days later, was told she would continue to receive pay and was instructed to “go dark” on social media and stay silent.
“Meanwhile, as plaintiff heeded the unlawful admonitions, Beck and others within TBI 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,” the complaint states. “Beck and others associated with TBI 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.”
Lahrens says the network’s attorneys “attempted to put the genie back in the proverbial bottle” by saying she had only been suspended and that the defendants have the right to manipulate her by blocking access to her Facebook followers.
She says the defendants continue to wrongfully control administrative access to her Facebook profile.
The Irving-based network said Friday that Lahren has not been 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,” TheBlaze said in a statement.
Lahren appeared to allude to the lawsuit on Twitter on Friday, hours after it was filed.
“Lay down and play dead really isn’t my style. #FinalThoughts,” she tweeted.
She seeks actual and punitive damages, declaratory judgment and an injunction for breach of contract and tortious interference with contract. She is represented by Brian P. Lauten with Deans Lyons in Dallas.