Lachlan Murdoch to Pay $840,000 of Australian Publisher’s Legal Costs After Fox Corp CEO Drops Defamation Lawsuit

The payout to Private Media closes out the case brought against Crikey last August

lachlan murdoch
Lachlan Murdoch in 2019 (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch has paid $840,000 in legal fees to an Australian publisher, closing the door on a long-winded dispute over an op-ed accusing the Murdoch family of bearing responsibility for the events of Jan. 6 at the Capitol. 

Murdoch sued the news website Crikey last August, after the publishing of an opinion column that argued that the Murdochs and Fox News as a whole should be blamed for the riot due to the network’s peddling of false election narratives. 

The $840,000 payment is intended to cover Private Media’s legal fees in the case as a result of the defamation case brought against Crikey’s publisher by Murdoch. 

Private Media had raised over $350,000 via GoFundMe to support the legal costs, however, the company must donate all defense funds raised to the Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom, as a condition of Murdoch’s payment. 

Private Media’s chief executive Will Hayward said he was “delighted” to donate the money provided to the outlet. 

“This money was raised from the goodwill of people across Australia who believe in the importance of free speech,” Hayward said in a statement. “These funds will now go to support the alliance and its team as they champion that cause across the world.”

Murdoch’s lawyer, John Churchill, said in a statement on Tuesday that when the Fox Corp. CEO “discontinued the proceedings,” he didn’t “wish to further enable Crikey’s use of the court to litigate a case from another jurisdiction that has already been settled and facilitate a marketing campaign designed to attract subscribers and boost their profits.” 

The Fox Corp. CEO dropped his lawsuit against Crikey in April, only two days after Fox News’ settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, which included a massive $787.5 million payout.