Fox News Founder Rupert Murdoch Faces Deposition Smartmatic Lawsuit Over Election Disinformation Claims

Rupert Murdoch Faces Deposition Smartmatic Lawsuit

Rupert Murdoch, former chairman of Fox and News Corp., is scheduled to undergo questioning on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit initiated by voting tech company Smartmatic. The lawsuit accuses that Fox News and their parent company played a pivotal role in spreading false information about the U.S. presidential election in 2020, including baseless claims linking Smartmatic to an alleged election vote rigging scheme.

While Murdoch’s name does not appear on the public docket for the case, sources close to the matter suggest that the deposition will take place in Los Angeles. This legal development follows Fox Corp.’s April settlement of $787.5 million in a similar defamation case related to Dominion Voting Systems. This happened just before Murdoch was slated to provide testimony.

Having recently stepped down as chairman at the age of 92, Murdoch had previously been deposed in the Dominion case, admitting that some Fox News hosts had “endorsed” false election claims by Donald Trump. In the current Smartmatic suit, however, Murdoch is not individually named. The lawsuit specifically targets Fox hosts Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, and the now-canceled Lou Dobbs, whose show was terminated from the Fox Business Network shortly after Smartmatic filed its lawsuit.

Smartmatic is pursuing damages from the three Fox hosts, as well as Rudolph Giuliani and Sidney Powell, both prominent figures on Fox programs during the election period and legal representatives for former President Donald Trump. Smartmatic’s attorneys claim that Murdoch, despite not believing in election fraud claims, encouraged Fox News to embrace disinformation as a means to regain its audience.

Fox Corp.’s legal team counters that “while Smartmatic alleges that Rupert Murdoch occasionally provided suggestions on possible guests and what content shows might cover, Smartmatic does not allege any facts suggesting that he played any affirmative or active role in directing the specific Fox News or Fox Business shows to host Giuliani or Powell or cover their allegations about Smartmatic.”

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