Lachlan Murdoch Drops Defamation Claim Against Australian News Site Following Dominion Settlement

Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch is dropping his defamation claim against Australian news site Crikey over a column that connected him to the January 6th attack on the Capitol.

In a statement, Murdoch’s attorney, John Churchill, cited the recent settlement of Dominion’s lawsuit against Fox Corp. and Fox News in dropping the litigation. In the proceedings, which might not have started until next year, Crikey was poised to introduce material gathered during the discovery process in the Dominion suit, in which Fox agreed to pay $787.5 million to settle the claim and avoid a trial.

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“It’s a matter of public record that Crikey admits that there is no truth to the imputations that were made about Mr. Murdoch in the article,” Churchill said. “In their latest attempt to change their defense strategy, Crikey has tried to introduce thousands of pages of documents from a defamation case from another jurisdiction, which has now settled.”

The defamation claim was over a June 29, 2022, analysis piece that identified the Murdochs as “unindicted co-conspirators” in the January 6th attacks on the Capitol. The case was filed against Private Media, parent company of Crikey.

The judge in the Dominion lawsuit, Eric Davis, told attorneys last week that he would not allow the January 6th attacks to be introduced in a trial, finding it unfairly prejudicial to Fox’s side.

Churchill said in his statement that Dominion also did not argue that Murdoch bore responsibility for January 6th. Churchill said that Murdoch “remains confident that the court would ultimately find in his favour, however he does not wish to further enable Crikey’s use of the court to litigate a case from another jurisdiction that has already been settled and facilitate a marketing campaign designed to attract subscribers and boost their profits.”

A representative for Crikey did not immediately return a request for comment.

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