When attorneys for Fox News argued on Tuesday that Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch should be excused from testifying in court as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the company, they were met with skepticism from the court. The lawsuit is being brought against the company by Dominion Voting Systems.
The judge in the case, Eric Davis, stated that he had received a letter from Fox stating that it would be “inconvenient” for Murdoch, who is 92 years old, to deliver testimony un the courtroom. According to what the judge had to say, Murdoch is “hardly infirm.” The judge stated that after receiving the letter, he was informed that Murdoch had just gotten engaged and was discussing plans to travel more in the coming years.
This is an apparent reference to an interview the recently divorced media mogul gave to his New York Post last week, where he announced his engagement to Ann Lesley Smith, 66 years old. According to the information provided in the story, the couple’s travel plans included stopping in California, the United Kingdom, Montana, and New York.
The judge stated that the defendant did not sound like someone who is unable to travel from New York to Wilmington. The attorney for Fox, Matthew Carter, expressed his concern to the judge that there may have been a “miscommunication” over the company’s opposition to Murdoch’s testimony.
According to what Carter had to say, “We are not claiming that he is infirm or unable of travel.” “In light of his seven-hour deposition, we thought it wasn’t necessary for him to go,” as the witnesses explained their reasoning for deciding against inviting him to testify in person.
The judge did not make a decision regarding whether or not it will be necessary for Mr. Murdoch to testify in person during the trial, which is scheduled to begin on April 17 and is expected to last for around six weeks.
Dominion is suing Fox News and Fox Corp., saying that it has suffered significant harm as a result of allegations made by Fox hosts and guests that the voting system maker “rigged” the 2020 election in favor of Joe Biden. Dominion is suing Fox News and Fox Corp. in federal court.