Update 2/12: WSVN reportedly fired Cross on Monday.
WSVN News TV producer Robin Cross apparently got really pissed off at her neighbor during a parking dispute earlier this week. In a video first obtained by local gossip blogger Jose Lambiet, Cross, 49, screams the N-word at her neighbor Robert Fenton because his son is in an interracial relationship. Cross yells that he "dates a fucking nigger."
In the clip, which the Fenton family also sent to New Times, Cross hurls the insults while Fenton quietly takes the abuse. He calmly says Cross' car is blocking his driveway, which seems like a valid concern. Cross then loses her mind.
"You cannot block my driveway," Fenton states.
"You cannot park
She then seemed pleased with herself. "Hmm, I said it out loud," she added. "Finally."
Cross works as an investigative segment producer for Channel 7 News, after bouncing around South Florida's media outlets. According to her Facebook and LinkedIn pages, she graduated from Broward County Community College and then went to work for WIOD news radio, CBS 4 Miami, the Sun Sentinel, CBS 12 News in West Palm Beach, and then WSVN.
Cross did not respond to messages from New Times today. Reached by phone, editors in the WSVN newsroom said they could not immediately comment. But according to Lambiet, Cross has been temporarily suspended.
Avery Fenton, the "son" Cross refers to in the video, tells New Times that the incident occurred this past Tuesday night and that since then, he and his father have been sending WSVN repeated messages demanding her termination. The younger Fenton says the station told his father it was "investigating" the incident but since then has stopped responding.
Avery Fenton is a lawyer in Fort Lauderdale and a former public defender in West Palm Beach. He says he wrote a strongly worded letter to WSVN and sent it to multiple people in the newsroom but hasn't heard back.
"I sent it to three different people, but they haven’t responded to me," Fenton says. "I’m an attorney, so I felt it was a well-written letter. But zero people have responded."
Fenton gave New Times a copy of the complaint, which was addressed directly to WSVN's Broward Bureau Chief Frank Guzman. The younger Fenton also provided the video clip and another photo that appears to show Cross shoving or touching the elder Fenton.
"I hope this day finds you in better spirits than I," Avery Fenton writes in the letter. "I have video footage and a photograph of one of your employees behaving in a manner that, I imagine, is highly inconsistent with the mission and values of the WSVN and FOX networks (and their affiliates), nationally OR locally (the incident took place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida)."
He says Cross flashed her WSVN employee badge during the incident to try to intimidate his father.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
"He was met with obscene language, verbal attacks, and your employee continually flashing and throwing her 'TV / News credentials' in his face," Fenton writes. "Apparently she had a work badge. The video clearly ends with her using extremely foul language, and then a personal attack on me as my father's son, for dating my girlfriend who is African American. The most awful of racial slurs
In the letter, Fenton defends his girlfriend, who is studying to obtain her doctorate, stating she is "beautiful both inside and out, and has a kind heart. Neither
Fenton initially wrote that the family wanted to handle things with WSVN internally instead of going public, but he says he and his family released the video because they believed the station was stonewalling their complaints. He tells New Times this is far from the family's first incident with Cross. He says it's also not the first time Cross has physically touched his dad. Fenton says his father has called the police to deal with her and tried to obtain a restraining order, though that request was denied. He says he and his girlfriend rarely, if ever, even spend time outside his father's house — they merely park outside and walk into the home.
"It was stunning for this woman to be that disgusted by just seeing her next to me," Fenton says.