FORT LAUDERDALE — A WSVN-Channel 7 producer has been suspended pending the station’s investigation into an ugly video of an argument with a neighbor where she spewed out the “n” word.
Robin Cross, 49, a 25-year news veteran who has worked at CBS 4 and NBC 6 in Miami, CBS 12 in West Palm Beach, the Sun-Sentinel as well as WIOD-610 AM radio, has been told to stay home and write a statement explaining her side of her story.
When reached this morning, the day of her second anniversary at the station, Cross declined comment.
But a source familiar with her statement said Cross is telling station officials she’s been embroiled in a neighborhood dispute since she moved to Fort Lauderdale’s Isle of Venice Drive four years ago.
She says neighbor Robert Fenton and his family have been harassing her about parking near their house.
Cross says she just lost her cool Tuesday night after she parked near retired car dealer Fenton, and he came out to confront her.
The video of the confrontation filmed by Fenton is crystal-clear: The argument turned particularly nasty, with Cross showering him with four letter bombs.
“You don’t f…… own the road,” Cross is heard telling Fenton after he told her she is blocking his driveway.
Cross then launches into a tirade about how street parking is illegal anyway, but the 66-year-old Fenton also parks there when the space is open.
At the end of the 50-second video, Cross can be heard saying: “Yes, I used the word f…… if you haven’t heard it before. Except for your f…… son who’s dating a f…… n…..
“Finally, I said it out loud,” Cross says as she walks away.
Fenton’s son, local lawyer Avery Fenton, is dating a black woman whom he describes as “a wonderful woman,” and often visits his dad with her.
By Wednesday morning, Avery Fenton had written a letter spelling out the incident that ended up on the desk of WSVN news director Tony Gonzalez along with the video.
In his letter, Avery Fenton asks that the Fox affiliate fire Cross.
“Your employee reduced my girlfriend to nothing other than a slur based off of the color of her skin last night,” Avery Fenton wrote.
What’s not seen in the video, said dad Robert Fenton, is that, at one point, Cross was waving her WSVN press credentials at him.
“She was using her press credentials as a weapon,” he said. “It’s saying look at who I am and how much power I have. I’m gonna get you.
“Obviously, she is very bigoted and there’s something wrong with her,” the elder Fenton said.
WSVN news boss Gonzalez didn’t return calls for comment.