Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of News Corp and Co-Chairman of 21st Century Fox, arrives at the Sun Valley Resort for the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference July 10, 2018 in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch is now scheduled to appear for testimony later in January as part of Dominion Voting’s defamation lawsuit against the company and its cable news networks.
According to court documents, the deposition is scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday next week. Murdoch was originally scheduled to appear via video call for testimony in December, but he is now due to be questioned in person at the Fox Studios lot in Los Angeles, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person declined to be named because he is not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Most 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 Fox News and Fox Business made false claims that their voting machines were tampered with in the 2020 presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
A Dominion representative did not immediately respond to comment about Fridat. Fox has not commented beyond the court filing and has vigorously denied the claims.
The Murdochs are the most senior Fox officers interrogated. Last June, a Delaware judge overseeing the case ruled that Dominion’s lawsuit could extend beyond the cable television networks to include the parent company, meaning Fox Corp’s top executives. could be asked to testify. Dominion has argued that the parent company and its top executives played a role in spreading misinformation about voter fraud by Fox’s hosts.
Over the past year, Fox television personalities such as Maria Bartiromo, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson have appeared for testimony.
Hannity admitted he didn’t believe Dominion betrayed Trump in the presidential election, according to testimonies emerged during a Delaware Superior Court hearing and reported by NPR in December. The reported statement differs from the claims made on Hannity’s show after the election.
Otherwise, the statements and documents collected during the discovery process remain private.
Dominion is on the hook 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 it anyway, or intentionally ignored information that proved their reporting was inaccurate.
The lawsuit is being closely followed by First Amendment experts and attorneys. While libel lawsuits usually center around an untruth, Dominion cites a long list of examples of Fox TV hosts making false claims even after they have been shown to be untrue. Media companies are often largely protected by the First Amendment.
The court denied Fox’s motion to dismiss the case. The trial is scheduled to begin on April 17, according to court records, with preliminary talks in the days leading up to it. Neither side has shown any sign of entering into settlement talks.