Media executive Lachlan Murdoch has paid over a million dollars in legal costs to Australian publisher Private Media for his aborted defamation suit against Crikey. Murdoch, the CEO of Fox Corporation, paid more than the requested amount of $1.1 million to the publisher. The condition of the payment is that Private Media will donate the $588,735 it raised from a Crikey fundraising campaign to the Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom.
In April, Lachlan Murdoch dropped his defamation case against Crikey and its editors and executives. This decision came after Fox News and Dominion Voting reached a last-minute settlement in a billion-dollar defamation case in a US court. Murdoch had initiated legal action against Crikey publisher Private Media in August 2022, alleging defamation regarding an opinion piece that referred to his family as “unindicted co-conspirators” in the US Capitol riots.
The lawsuit named Crikey political editor Bernard Keane, former editor-in-chief Peter Fray, chairman Eric Beecher, and CEO Will Hayward. Murdoch’s lawyer, John Churchill, stated that the payment of $1,306,739.36 was made to allow Private Media to honor its commitment to donate the funds raised through a GoFundMe page to The Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom. Churchill further added that Crikey admitted there was no truth to the imputations made against Murdoch in the article, and Murdoch remained confident that the court would have ruled in his favor.
Will Hayward, CEO of Private Media, expressed delight in being able to pass on the funds donated by Crikey’s supporters.
(Note: The rewritten article has been formatted into paragraphs for better organization and legibility.)