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Fox boss drops defamation suit against Crikey after Dominion settlement

Lachlan Murdoch, the chief executive of Fox Corporation, has dropped his defamation lawsuit against the publisher of the Australian newspaper Crikey just days after a defamation case filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News ended in a $787 million settlement. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
Lachlan Murdoch, the chief executive of Fox Corporation, has dropped his defamation lawsuit against the publisher of the Australian newspaper Crikey just days after a defamation case filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News ended in a $787 million settlement. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

April 20 (UPI) -- Lachlan Murdoch, the chief executive of Fox Corporation, has dropped his defamation lawsuit against the publisher of the Australian newspaper Crikey just days after a defamation case filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News ended in a $787 million settlement.

Murdoch, 51, had filed a lawsuit in Australia against Crikey publisher Private Media focusing on an op-ed published by the newspaper last June that branded the family of powerful media mogul Rupert Murdoch the "unindicted co-conspirators" during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

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Private Media took down the article the day after it was published after legal threats from Lachlan Murdoch but has since republished the article "as part of a series about this legal threat and about how media power works in Australia." The lawsuit was ultimately filed in August.

Lachlan's lawyer John Churchill on Friday filed a notice in Australia's federal court system noting that Murdoch "discontinues the whole of the proceedings," The Guardian reported.

"Mr. Murdoch remains confident that the court would ultimately find in his favor; 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," Churchill said in a statement to The New York Times.

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Churchill said that the judge in the Dominion case had ruled that the events of Jan. 6 were not relevant and that the voting machine company had not planned to argue that Fox had a role in the riot.

"Yet this is what Crikey's article alleged and what Crikey is attempting to argue in Australia," Churchill said.

Lawyers for Private Media said in a statement that they are "well pleased" with Lachlan's decision and said that the younger Murdoch will "be up for Crikey's legal costs."

Private Media previously organized a GoFundMe fundraiser to help pay the publisher's legal fees as Lachlan "unleashed his legal and financial forces."

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