Viet Dinh, Chief Legal Officer of Fox Corp. and close associate of Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, is leaving his position with the company.
Fox Corp. said in a statement on Friday that Dinh, who is stepping down at the end of the year, will transition to the role of “special counsel”.
Dinh is the most senior Fox Corp. official to resign since the media company paid Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 million to settle the company’s $1.6 billion Fox News defamation lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleged that Fox News damaged the electronic voting machine maker’s reputation as the network proliferated repeatedly
Former President Trump’s untruths about voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Evidence in the case revealed a series of embarrassing text messages and emails from employees, many of whom believed the claims were false and Trump lost despite the theories presented on the air.
Dinh led Fox Corp’s legal strategy. in this case. He is said to have expressed confidence in the company’s ability to succeed, arguing that statements on the conservative news channel are protected under the First Amendment.
But Murdoch chose to settle the case before testimony could be heard at the April trial.
“We appreciate Viet’s many contributions and services to Fox, both as a board member of 21st Century Fox and in his role as a valued member of Fox’s executive team over the past five years,” said Lachlan Murdoch, Fox Corp. chairman. “We are grateful that he will continue to serve Fox as a special adviser where we will benefit from his advice.”
Dinh, who was previously the assistant attorney general in the administration of former President George W. Bush, has been a key figure at Fox Corp since 2018. He is a longtime friend of Lachlan Murdoch and acts as godfather to the manager’s son.
While a number of low-level decision-makers involved in Dominion coverage have left Fox News, which has undergone cost-cutting in recent months, top executives at both the channel and its parent company remained in place ahead of Friday’s announcement.
Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and her deputy chief Jay Wallace still lead the network, which has seen its ratings soar since it revamped its mainline programming after the departure of its most popular and provocative host, Tucker Carlson.
Carlson, one of Trump’s most ardent supporters, was permanently removed from the show on April 24 as he was held legally liable for the broadcaster.
Fox News paid $12 million to a former producer who claimed she faced a hostile work environment while working on Carlson’s show.
Ray Epps, a participant in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, is suing Fox over Carlson’s repeated allegations that Epps was a government agent who helped incite protesters.
Fox News is facing another defamation lawsuit related to voter fraud reporting by voting machine maker Smartmatic. Barring a settlement, the $2.7 billion lawsuit will go to trial in 2025.