On Tuesday, Fox News reached a $787.5 million settlement deal in the defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems, avoiding a high-profile, scandalous trial, Reuters reported.
The settlement, believed to be the largest reached by an American media outlet, was announced by the judge and the two sides shortly after the jury had been seated and opening statements were set to begin in Delaware Superior Court.
Dominion had filed the lawsuit in 2021 seeking $1.6 billion in damages claiming that Fox News and its hosts defamed the voting system company over false vote-rigging claims after the 2020 presidential election.
The company set out to prove that Fox acted with actual malice when it aired the claims that it knew were false or with a “reckless disregard” for the truth.
Speaking with reporters outside of the courthouse, Dominion attorney Justin Nelson said that the “truth matters” and “lies have consequences.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Dominion CEO John Paulos said Fox News admitted it lied about Dominion and caused “enormous damage” to the company, its customers, and employees. Calling the settlement “historic,” Poulos said “truthful reporting” is “essential” in a democracy.
Fox News’s “Your World” host Neil Cavuto broke the news of the settlement during his show Tuesday afternoon and read on-air a statement from Fox.
In its statement, Fox News acknowledged that rulings by the Judge found some of the claims made about Dominion were false. Fox said it is “hopeful” that resolving the dispute “amicably” without the “acrimony of a divisive trial” will allow the country “to move forward from these issues.”
With Tuesday’s settlement, Fox is spared the danger of having some of its best-known on-air personalities and executives being called to testify and subjected to potentially damaging questioning, including Fox Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch as well as top-rated hosts like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson.