Fox News reached a settlement with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million Tuesday just minutes before a defamation trial was set to begin.
The trial was set to begin Tuesday morning after the judge swore in the jury, but attorneys were delayed from presenting opening arguments as Fox News and Dominion continued to work behind the scenes to reach a settlement. An agreement for less than half of the original $1.6 billion demand was reached late Tuesday, and it was eventually announced by the judge that the case was no longer going to trial. (RELATED: NYT’s Mara Gay Says It’s ‘Sad’ Fox News Doesn’t Realize They’re Supposed To ‘Support Democracy’)
Dominion attorney Justin Nelson told reporters, “The truth matters, lies have consequences” in a press conference following the settlement, according to CNN.
Dominion filed suit against Fox News in 2021, alleging that the news outlet had falsely criticized and “deeply damaged” the company’s reputation in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election by claiming that the company may have replaced votes for former President Donald Trump for President Joe Biden, according to The New York Times. Had the outlet gone to trial, prominent anchors and executives, including hosts such as Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, may have been forced to testify regarding the outlet’s coverage of alleged voter fraud.
Fox confirmed the settlement in a public statement.
“We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems,” the statement read. “We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards. We are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues.”
Fox News is still facing a second a defamation lawsuit from Smartmatic, another voting technology company that alleges it was also defamed by Fox’s coverage of the 2020 election, according to CNN. A trial date has not been set for the Smartmatic case.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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