By Oliver Darcy, CNN
(CNN) — Rupert Murdoch is set to be deposed on Tuesday in voting technology company Smartmatic’s mammoth $2.7 billion election defamation lawsuit against Fox News, a person familiar with the matter told CNN.
The deposition of the right-wing media mogul, which was first reported by Reuters, is set to take place in Los Angeles. Murdoch founded Fox News and served as executive chairman of Fox Corporation, Fox News’ parent company, until earlier this month, when the 92-year-old media baron transitioned to chairman emeritus, crowning his son Lachlan as king of his media empire.
A spokesperson for Fox Corporation declined to comment, though the company has consistently said it plans to vigorously fight the lawsuit. A spokesperson for Smartmatic did not respond to a request for comment.
Smartmatic filed its lawsuit against Fox Corporation in 2021 after it was swept up in baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
The lawsuit, filed in New York State court, accused Fox News and some of the right-wing channel’s hosts of intentionally lying about Smartmatic in an effort to mislead the public into the false belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.
“They needed a villain,” the lawsuit said. “They needed someone to blame. They needed someone whom they could get others to hate. A story of good versus evil, the type that would incite an angry mob, only works if the storyteller provides the audience with someone who personifies evil.”
“Without any true villain, defendants invented one,” the lawsuit added. “Defendants decided to make Smartmatic the villain in their story.”
The deposition marks the second time this year that Murdoch has had to sit for questioning from lawyers over Fox News’ airing of election lies.
In April, Fox Corporation reached a historic $787 million settlement in a similar election lies case filed by another voting technology company, Dominion Voting Systems.
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