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Fox Corporation’s Senior Lawyer Viet Dinh Departs:
Following the media company’s $787.5 million settlement of Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation claims, Viet Dinh, Fox Corporation’s senior lawyer and close family friend and confidant Lachlan Murdoch, will leave the organization this year.
In the Dominion lawsuit, Dinh oversaw the company’s legal strategy, which in April resulted in one of the largest defamation settlements in US history. The provider of voting technology had accused Fox News of promoting rumors about election tampering in the 2020 US presidential election.
However, emails and texts uncovered throughout the discovery process proved to be embarrassing for the news network and its management, notably Lachlan Murdoch and his father Rupert, the Fox chairman. The settlement was much less than the $1.6bn in damages that Dominion had sought. Top Fox anchor Tucker Carlson abruptly left the network once the agreement was made public.
Dinh, a Harvard-educated attorney who served in President George W. Bush’s administration, was regarded as having considerable influence within Fox. Dinh earns the same $3 million base pay as Lachlan and is a godfather to one of his kids.
In the Dominion case, Dinh had argued that Fox had a strong free expression defense, and following the settlement, Lachlan Murdoch acknowledged he agreed with that position.
The first amendment protects a news organization’s reporting on noteworthy events, Murdoch said in May. “We have been and remain confident in the merits of our position,” Murdoch said.
As a “business decision,” Fox justifies its settlement with Dominion.
Fox announced in a filing on Friday that Dinh will get a lump-sum payment of $23 million. Additionally, he would continue serving as a company adviser through 2025 in a position that paid $2.5 million year.
According to a statement from Lachlan Murdoch, “We appreciate Viet’s many contributions and service to Fox as both a board member of 21st Century Fox and in his role over the last five years as a valued member of Fox’s leadership team.”
In a statement, Dinh said he had “treasured my relationship with Rupert, Lachlan, and our talented colleagues.”
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