So much for a smooth departure.
After conservative commentator Tomi Lahren sued TheBlaze for wrongful termination over her surprising defense of abortion rights, Glenn Beck's network is hitting back. According to Variety, Beck and TheBlaze have filed a countersuit against Lahren alleging that she is a "divisive" employee, but that her contract actually remains in effect.
"TheBlaze supports its employees' expression of their opinions and did not take issue with Lahren's comments simply because they expressed a pro-choice viewpoint," reads the counterclaim, according to Variety. "Her comments were shocking and disappointing because they demonstrated Lahren was uninformed and unprepared to speak on those issues. In addition, her comments were inconsistent with positions she had previously expressed."
TheBlaze cancelled Lahren's nightly show and permanently banned her in late March, after she declared herself "pro-choice" during an appearance on The View. Lahren explained that regulating women's bodies was antithetical to her belief in small government, which enraged many conservatives who didn't appreciate being called hypocrites.
Lahren's lawsuit, filed in early April, maintains that she was exercising her freedom of speech, and that her employers at TheBlaze were "hoping they could find an exit strategy to sanitize their unlawful conduct" by keeping her on the payroll after letting her go.
Beck disagrees. According to Variety, the counterclaim posits that Lahren tarnished the network's image, but also that her attitude and comport had consistently been a problem even before her View segment. The 24-year-old was allegedly "inappropriate and unprofessional" with the crew, "constantly complaining about everything including but not limited to lighting, room temperature, editing, shooting, directing, etc." The suit also maintains that Lahren's "word choices on air had to be addressed repeatedly for bordering on the profane," and that the host was generally a terror to her colleagues.
With the countersuit, Beck and TheBlaze hope to secure a temporary restraining order against Lahren that would keep her from making pre-approved public appearances, during which she might sling more mud at the network.