Media mogul Lachlan Murdoch and his wife Sarah landed in Sydney by private jet on Wednesday, on what will no doubt be equal parts business and pleasure.
The Fox Corporation CEO’s arrival in Australia coincides with his 51st birthday on Thursday – but it’s likely he’ll be doing more than celebrating as he prepares to pursue legal action against a local publisher, who he claims defamed.
The billionaire looked calmly confident as he stepped off his plane, which was said to be worth $90 million, and cut a casual figure in a white polo shirt, jeans and trainers.
Media mogul Lachlan Murdoch and his wife Sarah landed in Sydney by private jet on Wednesday, on what will no doubt be equal parts business and pleasure
The son of press tycoon Rupert Murdoch completed his look with sunglasses and a watch, while also showing off his rarely seen tribal tattoo on his left arm.
Sarah, a former model and TV presenter, looked radiant in a chic wool coat and blue jeans as she stepped off the plane and climbed into the driver’s seat of a waiting car.
Her husband hopped into the passenger seat before the couple drove away.
The Fox CEO’s arrival in Australia coincides with his 51st birthday on Thursday – but it’s likely he’ll be doing more than celebrating as he prepares to take legal action against a local publisher, from whom he claims he defamed. (Pictured: Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch)
Murdoch has claimed an article published by Australian news and opinion website Crikey made baseless, defamatory suggestions that he was conspiring with Donald Trump to overthrow the US government.
In a defamation lawsuit filed in federal court last month, Mr Murdoch is suing a March 29 opinion article by politics editor Bernard Keane.
In the piece, which was widely circulated on social media, Keane called the former US president “traitorous” and an “untouched traitor” and suggested that the Murdoch family, who own and control Fox News, were “unindicted co-conspirators.” ” be.
The billionaire looked calmly confident as he stepped off his plane, which was said to be worth $90 million, and cut a casual figure in a white polo shirt, jeans and trainers
While the article did not mention Lachlan Murdoch by name, instead referring to the Murdoch family, the Fox CEO claims he was defamed and suffered serious reputational damage.
“Murdoch has been severely wounded in character, personal reputation and professional reputation as a businessman and corporate executive and has suffered and will continue to suffer significant injuries, grief and embarrassment,” documents he filed with the court said.
The lawsuit is against the publisher behind the Crikey imprint, Private Media, as well as Keane and Editor-in-Chief Peter Fray.
The son of press tycoon Rupert Murdoch completed his look with sunglasses and a watch, while also showing off his rarely seen tribal tattoo on his left arm
Murdoch, who brought in high-profile defamation attorney Sue Chrysanthou SC in the lawsuit, is asking for enhanced damages.
He alleges that Private Media acted maliciously and engaged in a “disingenuous publicity campaign” to increase its subscribers, making false claims that he intimidated and threatened the company over the article.
According to court documents, the article was defamatory, falsely alleging that Murdoch had engaged in an illegal criminal conspiracy with Trump to overthrow the 2020 US presidential election and incited a murderous mob to march on the Capitol.
Sarah, a former model and TV presenter, looked radiant in a chic wool coat and blue jeans as she stepped off the plane
Since then, Crikey has written numerous other articles about Mr. Murdoch, January 6th and the looming court cases at the time, and openly published all letters sent between Fox CEO John Churchill’s attorney and Private Media’s attorneys at MinterEllison.
Mr Murdoch said he was not asked for comment prior to the June 29 article and subsequent related articles published on the Crikey website and had only complained to Private Media four times over a five-year period.
He is also asking for injunctions prohibiting the publication and promotion of the allegedly defamatory articles.
The mother of three then climbed into the driver’s seat of a waiting car
In a statement on its website, Crikey said it welcomed Murdoch’s lawsuit.
“For nearly two months, Crikey has faced lawsuits from Lachlan Murdoch over an article about Fox News, Donald Trump and the January 6 riot in Washington. Last night, Lachlan Murdoch finally issued his injunction. We welcome it,” the company wrote.
Private Media CEO Will Hayward tweeted that Murdoch had “unleashed his legal and financial powers” against the publisher.
Her husband hopped into the passenger seat before the couple drove away
“We are determined to fight for our role as journalists to cover important events – indeed what we published was tame compared to the hundreds of articles and op-eds on the role of Fox News and the Murdochs in the US ( where as public figures they cannot sue for defamation),” Hayward said.
He added that Crikey could pay millions in damages and legal fees as a result of the lawsuit.
Speaking to ABC Radio National on Wednesday, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was surprised by what he called a hypocritical lawsuit and championed Crikey and his article.
Crikey editor Eric Beecher (pictured in 2004) wrote an open letter challenging the Murdochs to take legal action against his website. Lachlan Murdoch responded by suing the publisher
In the opinion piece, politics editor Bernard Keane called former US President Donald Trump “traitorous” and a “crazy traitor” and suggested the Murdoch family, who own and control Fox News, were “unindicted co-conspirators” in the March 6 Capitol January riots. (Pictured: ‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley was part of the mob that marched into Congress in Washington, DC to demand that the US election result on January 6 last year be overturned.)
Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch are seen at a 2019 Vanity Fair Oscars party in Beverly Hills
“Very few people have defamed more people through their media organization over the years than the Murdochs. They’re always bitching about freedom of speech and how the defamation laws are too harsh,” he said.
The so-called Big Lie that Trump won the 2020 election and that current US President Joe Biden stole it was spread, amplified and promoted by Fox News, Turnbull added.
“January 6 could not have happened without the toxic influence of Fox News,” he told ABC.
Part of a letter sent to independent news site Crikey by a lawyer representing Lachlan Murdoch
Some of the complaints made by Lachlan Murdoch’s attorney against an article published by Crikey