Lachlan Murdoch opens defamation lawsuit against Australian website

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

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

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

In his defense, filed in court Friday, Crikey argued the opinion piece was in the public interest.

Last month, Crikey ran a full-page advertisement in the New York Times inviting the lawsuit, saying she wanted “to test this important issue of journalism’s freedom from public interest in a courtroom.”

The defamation lawsuit was filed the following day.

The website has portrayed the struggle as a struggle for free speech, highlighting differences in size and wealth between it and the Murdoch family businesses.

It has set up a Go Fund Me in its defense and in a statement released Thursday, Chief Executive Will Hayward said: “We think it’s important in an open, well-functioning society that the rich and powerful can be criticized. “

In a lawsuit, a lawyer for Mr Murdoch accused Crikey of using the situation to “self-promote” and “publicize the Crikey website and increase subscribers” and said the allegation of public interest journalism was “disingenuous”. Lachlan Murdoch opens defamation lawsuit against Australian website

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