The employee fired by CBS this week over a leaked video that showed ABC anchor Amy Robach discussing her network killing a story about convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein said she did not leak the clip.
The staffer, Ashley Bianco, was fired by the network this week after ABC alerted its rival to her alleged actions.
Bianco said in an interview with Megyn Kelly published on Friday that she did not leak the tape to anyone. She said she made a clip of the moment and saved it to an internal system.
“I just clipped it off. I essentially left it in the system. It never left the system. We do it all the time,” she said. She did it “just for office gossip,” she said.
Bianco was a crash producer who was at her desk watching Robach vent about the story.
“She told me everything. She had pictures. She had everything,” Robach said in August about alleged Epstein victim Virginia Roberts.
“I had seen what she was saying and I went to my manager and he said, ‘do you see what she’s saying, does she not know she’s on a hot mic?'” Bianco told Kelly.
“The assistant said to us that she knew she was on a hot mic and she was being broadcast to all the affiliates.”
“Everyone in the office was freaked out by what she was saying,” Bianco said about Robach’s comments, which included Robach saying that Roberts’s attorney Brad Edwards said around the time the investigation was complete that, “There will come a day we will realize Jeffrey Epstein was the most prolific pedophile this country has ever known.”
“And I had it all three years ago,” Robach said.
Bianco said that what she did was part of her job and not uncommon.
“Part of my job is a video editor. I clip off moments all the time. I put together funny anchor reels of them off camera doing funny stuff to use later in the show,” she said.
She insisted that she never went back to the clip after she clipped it.
“I had never even heard of Project Veritas until this,” Bianco said, referring to the group that published the “hot mic” video.
Bianco noted that she had only been at CBS for four days when she was fired.
“I begged. I pleaded. I didn’t know what I had done wrong. And I just, I wasn’t even given the professional courtesy to defend myself. I didn’t know what I was accused of. It was humiliating. It was devastating,” Bianco said.
When she learned that ABC called CBS to try to force the firing, she said, “I’ll never get a job anywhere else. It was devastating.”
About if she thinks ABC should have aired the interview with Virginia Roberts, Bianco said, “I have no clue.” She was not outraged by the network not running the story.
“It wasn’t me. I’m not the whistleblower. I’m sorry to ABC, but the leaker is still inside. I never did any of that. I may have accessed it, but I never leaked it, I never showed it to anyone,” Bianco said.
She said she regrets clipping the moment.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” she added.
Bianco’s interview was published around the same time as Project Veritas published a blog post it said was from their insider at ABC. The person still works there, the group said.
“I sit right here with you all in complete shock. I, like many, are at a loss for words on how this has been handled. Instead of addressing this head-on like the company has in the past, it has spun into a mission of seek-and-destroy. Innocent people that have absolutely nothing to do with this are being hunted down as if we are all a sport. I challenge all of you to actually look inwards and remember why this company engages in journalism. We all hold the First Amendment at the foundation of this company, yet forget its history, its purpose, and its reasoning for even coming into existence to begin with,” the person wrote.
“How lost we are… yearning to be found. I went to Project Veritas for the sole reason that any other media outlet else would have probably shelved this as well. I thank all of them, and James, for seeking truth. We are all human and mortal, creatures of mistakes and redemption. The road to redemption favors no soul.”