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Shareholder Sues Rupert Murdoch and Fox Directors over Election Coverage

A Fox Corp shareholder filed a lawsuit against Chairman Rupert Murdoch and four other board members, accusing them of allowing Fox News to broadcast false information about the 2020 U.S. presidential election, which harmed its credibility and resulted in legal action.

Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch

Allegations of Breached Duties and Ethical Standards

In the lawsuit, shareholder Robert Schwarz claimed the directors failed to uphold Fox's ethical standards and protect the company from reputational risk, instead prioritizing keeping former President Donald Trump's supporters engaged with the network.

Seeking Damages and Corporate Reforms

The lawsuit demands damages for the company from Murdoch and his fellow directors, along with unspecified corporate governance reforms to address the issues raised in the suit.

Defamation Claims from Voting Tech Firms

Schwarz argued that the board's inaction led to defamation lawsuits from Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic USA, who alleged that Fox News falsely implicated them in a conspiracy to steal the election from Trump. These lawsuits seek a combined total of $4 billion in damages.

Dominion's Lawsuit Heads to Trial

The trial for the Dominion lawsuit is set to begin in Delaware Supreme Court, with opening statements scheduled for Monday. The trial is anticipated to last five weeks, with Dominion accusing Fox of knowingly airing false claims about its ballot-counting machines.

Fox Defends Its Election Coverage

Fox has defended its election coverage, arguing that Trump and his lawyers' allegations of election rigging were newsworthy and protected under press freedom legal doctrines.

Murdoch Admits Some Fox Hosts Endorsed False Claims

The shareholder lawsuit references filings in the Dominion lawsuit, which revealed that Rupert Murdoch admitted under questioning that some Fox hosts had "endorsed" the idea that the election was stolen, despite his belief that President Joe Biden won fairly.