Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp and co-chairman of 21st Century Fox, arrives at the Sun Valley Resort for the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 10, 2018 in Sun Valley, Idaho.
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Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch is now due to appear for deposition later in January in Dominion Voting’s libel lawsuit against the company and its cable news networks.
The deposition is expected to take place on Thursday and Friday of next week, according to court documents. Murdoch was originally scheduled to appear for deposition in December via video call, but is now set for in-person questioning on the Fox Studio lot in Los Angeles, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person declined to be named because they are not authorized to discuss the case publicly.
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More recently, his son and Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch was questioned as part of the lawsuit.
Dominion has filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox, arguing that Fox News and Fox Business made false claims that its voting machines were rigged in the 2020 presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
A Dominion representative did not immediately respond to comments about Fridat. Fox made no comment beyond the court filing and strenuously denied the allegations.
The Murdochs are the most senior Fox officials to be interviewed. Last June, a Delaware judge overseeing the case ruled that Dominion’s lawsuit could be expanded beyond the cable TV networks to include their parent company, meaning Fox Corp.’s top executives. could be called upon to give evidence. Dominion argued that the parent company and its senior executives played a role in the Fox hosts spreading false information about voter fraud.
Last year, Fox television personalities such as Maria Bartiromo, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson appeared for depositions.
Hannity admitted he doesn’t believe Dominion cheated on Trump in the presidential election, according to statements that emerged during a Delaware Superior Court hearing and were reported by NPR in December. The reported statement differs from claims made on Hannity’s show after the election.
Otherwise, the statements and documents collected during the discovery process remain private.
Dominion is required to prove to a jury that Fox and its TV hosts acted with actual malice, meaning they knew they were reporting false information but did so anyway, or deliberately ignored information. who proved that their reporting was inaccurate.
The lawsuit is being watched closely by experts and First Amendment advocates. While defamation suits typically center on a single lie, Dominion cites a long list of examples of Fox TV hosts making false claims even after they’ve been proven to be false. Media companies are often heavily protected by the First Amendment.
The court denied Fox’s requests to dismiss the case. The trial is scheduled to begin on April 17, with pre-trial conferences in the days leading up to it, according to court documents. Neither side has shown any signs of entering settlement talks.
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