Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch deposed in Smartmatic election lawsuit

Rupert Murdoch is being deposed Tuesday as part of the $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit filed against Fox Corp. by the voting technology company Smartmatic, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC.

Murdoch is expected to sit for questioning in Los Angeles on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the source.

It is the second time this year that Murdoch, 92, has been deposed in a high-stakes defamation lawsuit accusing Fox News of airing damaging lies about the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Under questioning in January as part of a similar defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems, Murdoch admitted that some Fox News hosts and personalities “endorsed” the false narrative that the election was stolen from then-President Donald Trump.

Fox paid $787.5 million to settle Dominion’s lawsuit, nearly half the $1.6 billion figure initially demanded by the voting company.

Smartmatic’s lawsuit accuses Fox and a handful of its hosts and guests of knowingly lying, or acting with reckless disregard for the truth, by entertaining or endorsing the false claim that the company rigged the election for President Joe Biden over Trump.

Smartmatic, which is suing in New York Supreme Court, is seeking “in excess of $2.7 billion” in damages it says were caused by the defendants’ “disinformation campaign.”

Murdoch is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, which was filed against Fox personalities Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro and former opinion host Lou Dobbs. Trump’s former attorney Rudy Giuliani and pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell are also included as defendants.

A New York appeals court in February declined an attempt by Fox to dismiss the defamation suit.

Murdoch officially stepped down as chair of Fox and News Corp. earlier this month, putting his son Lachlan in charge of both. The elder Murdoch is now chairman emeritus of the companies.

Fox spokesman Brian Nick declined CNBC’s request for comment on Murdoch’s latest deposition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *