Follow us:

BREAKING
1h Truss ‘standing by Kwarteng’ as Tory revolt grows amid markets turmoil
4h PC cleared of assaulting retired Aston Villa player prior to death
5h Colston statue felling ‘violent’ and not protected by ECHR, say judges
7h Full report: Bank of England forced to intervene to stabilise economy
2h Statue of African hero unveiled on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth
10h Elizabeth Line’s Bond Street Station gets opening date

Lachlan Murdoch opens defamation lawsuit against Australian website

Mr Murdoch, who is Fox Corp chief executive and News Corp co-chairman is suing over an opinion piece about the storming of the US Capitol

Lachlan Murdoch opens defamation lawsuit against Australian website (Steve Parsons/PA) / PA Archive
By
23 September 2022
A

defamation lawsuit launched by Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, against Australian news website Crikey had its first day in court on Friday.

Mr Murdoch, who is the Fox Corp chief executive and News Corp co-chairman, is suing Private Media over an opinion piece about the storming of the US Capitol.

He claims he was defamed in the article by Crikey’s political editor, Bernard Keane, which was headlined: “Trump is a confirmed unhinged traitor. And Murdoch is his unindicted co-conspirator.”

In its defence, filed with the court on Friday, Crikey argued the opinion piece was in the public interest.

Last month, Crikey posted a full-page advertisement in The New York Times that invited the lawsuit, saying it wanted to “test this important issue of freedom of public interest journalism in a courtroom”.

The defamation lawsuit was filed the following day.

The website has framed the battle as one of free speech and highlighted differences in size, and wealth between itself and the companies owned by the Murdoch family.

It has launched a Go Fund Me for its defence and, in a statement released on Thursday, chief executive Will Hayward said: “We think it is important in an open, well-functioning society that the rich and powerful can be critiqued.”

In a statement of claim, a lawyer representing Mr Murdoch accused Crikey of using the situation for “self-promotion” and to “publicise the Crikey website and increase subscribers” and said the claim of public interest journalism was “disingenuous”.

Register for free to continue reading

Sign up for exclusive newsletters, comment on stories, enter competitions and attend events.

ALREADY HAVE AN ACCOUNT? LOG IN
NEED AN ACCOUNT? REGISTER NOW