Lachlan Murdoch Drops Crikey Defamation Case

Lachlan Murdoch Drops Crikey Defamation Case

Fox Corporation supremo Lachlan Murdoch (right) has dropped his defamation case against Crikey and several of its editors and execs.

Murdoch had filed a case against Private Media, Crikey’s publisher, former editor-in-chief Peter Fray, the company’s chairman Eric Beecher and chief exec Will Hayward in the Federal Court in August over an article Crikey published defamed him by referring to his family as “unindicted co-conspirators” in the US Capitol Riots.

Murdoch’s lawyer, John Churchill, said that “it is a matter of public record that Crikey admits that there is no truth to the imputations that were made about Mr Murdoch in the article.”

Churchill added that “In their latest attempt to change their defence strategy, Crikey has tried to introduce thousands of pages of documents from a defamation case in another jurisdiction, which has now settled.”

However, Churchill said that Murdoch junior was “confident that the court would ultimately find in his favour” but that he did not want to “further enable Crikey’s use of the court to litigate a case from another jurisdiction” and that it was using the defamation case to “facilitate a marketing campaign designed to attract subscribers and boost their profits.”

The article at the centre of the case described Murdoch as an “unindicted co-conspirator” but only referenced the family in the final line of the article, laying the blame for the riots at the feet of “the Murdochs and their slew of poisonous Fox News commentators.”

It was taken down on 30 June after a formal complaint from Murdoch but was republished on 15 August.

Following legal discovery, internal Private Media correspondence referenced building a “Lachlan Murdoch campaign” to drive revenue. The publisher’s legal team, meanwhile, sought to include hundreds of pages of evidence from the Dominion Voting Systems defamation case against Fox News that the company had since settled for a record fee.

Justice Michael Wigney, presiding over the Crikey and Murdoch suit, said the case appeared to be “driven more by ego and hubris and ideology more than anything else.”

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