Fox News has settled with Dominion Voting Systems just before the start of the trial, paying a record-breaking $787.5 million to end the two-year legal battle that damaged Fox’s credibility.
According to court filings, this settlement is the largest known defamation settlement in US history relating to a media company.
Fox News issued a statement acknowledging the court’s ruling that certain claims against Dominion were untrue.
The network avoided admitting on-air that it spread lies about Dominion. This groundbreaking settlement is regarded by Dominion lawyers as “vindication and accountability”, which underlines the importance of fact-sharing in a democracy.
The settlement means that Fox executives and on-air personalities are spared – avoiding testifying in court regarding their 2020 election coverage, which was filled with fraudulent claims. Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson will not have to testify on this issue.
By settling, Fox prevented Dominion from further exposing its dishonesty in a divisive trial.
The trial was set to begin on Monday. Jury selection concluded as planned, but after a lunch break, the proceedings didn’t continue, causing speculation of Fox News reaching a settlement with Dominion.
The jury was present when the settlement was announced, and the judge praised them for persuading the parties to resolve their case.
While the Dominion case is over, Fox News still faces a second major defamation lawsuit from Smartmatic, while Dominion is still pursuing lawsuits against Newsmax, OAN, and allies of Donald Trump, such as Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Mike Lindell, who all deny any wrongdoing.