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The Delaware judge overseeing a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News on Tuesday did not seem to buy the argument that founder Rupert Murdoch was too infirm to testify at trial next month.
The judge told Fox’s attorneys not to make him “look like an idiot.”
The remarks came at the outset of a pre-trial hearing when Judge Eric M. Davis noted that he previously had received a letter stating that the 92-year-old Murdoch “couldn’t travel” to the trial in Delaware because of COVID.
“I also have people telling me that he’s done some things recently that [show] he’s hardly infirm,” Davis said, noting that Murdoch had recently announced his engagement to be married for the fifth time and plans to travel between his homes in Los Angeles, Montana, New York and London.
The exchange was the first of several in which the normally impassive Davis warned Fox attorneys to “be careful.”
It also foreshadowed a key contention in the widely watched defamation case brought by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News: Were top executives, including controlling owner Murdoch, responsible for the broadcasting of baseless election fraud claims in late 2020?
Dominion intends to call not just Murdoch but a