Fox News Corp has settled the $1.6-billion defamation lawsuit brought against the media company by agreeing to pay $787 million to Dominion Voting Systems.
- Tuesday was set to be the first day of the trial for Dominion Voting Systems Vs. Fox Corp in Delaware Superior Court, pending several last-minute delays, The New York Times reports.
- With attorneys ready to begin deliberations, with microphones clipped to their lapels, both parties managed to reach a settlement just prior to trial, with Fox admitting guilt and agreeing to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 million out of the $1.6 billion it was attempting to sue for.
- Details of the settlement are still emerging but Fox released a statement and both sides shared details with the media.
- “Lies have consequences,” Dominion lawyer Justin Nelson says.
Why It’s Important
As we previously reported, Dominion’s defamation lawsuit was set to be one of the largest in American history, with the voting-system company claiming that the giant news network’s 2020 election coverage qualified as malicious and damaging to the company’s reputation. Fox all along denied any wrongdoing, until its settlement statement today.
Dominion’s lawyers released alleged internal emails which claimed that Fox News had purposely reported claims it did not believe in an effort to compete against rival network Newsmax, with hosts like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity privately acknowledging the fraudulence of the claims. High-profile names at Fox, including Rupert Murdoch, were expected to testify before a jury during the trial.
The damages will mean little for Fox, which is valued at more than $20 billion, although it still faces a second defamation lawsuit by Smartmatic, which says it “remains committed to clearing its name, recouping the significant damage done to the company, and holding Fox accountable for undermining democracy.”
“We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems. We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards. We are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues,” says Fox News.
“Fox has admitted to telling lies about Dominion that caused enormous damage to my company, our employees and the customers that we serve. Nothing can ever make up for that. Throughout this process we have sought accountability and believed the evidence brought to light through this case underscored the consequences of spreading lies. Truthful reporting in the media is essential to our democracy,” says Dominion CEO John Poulos.