Viet Dinh, Fox lawyer who oversaw Dominion settlement, to leave

Viet Dinh, Fox lawyer who oversaw Dominion settlement, to leave

By Oliver Darcy and Jon Passantino | CNN

Fox Corporation on Friday said its top lawyer, Viet Dinh, will exit the company in a significant shakeup to its corporate ranks in the aftermath of the company’s historic $787 million settlement with election technology company Dominion Voting Systems.

“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,” said Lachlan Murdoch, chief executive of Fox Corporation, in a statement. “We are grateful that he will continue to serve FOX as Special Advisor where we will benefit from his counsel.”

According to an SEC filing on Friday, Dinh will receive a $23 million cash settlement and will be paid $5 million for a two-year term as special adviser.

Dinh was said to have a close relationship with Lachlan Murdoch, joining the company as chief legal and policy officer in 2018. His departure comes after he was widely criticized for his handling of Dominion’s monster defamation lawsuit against Fox News over its airing of lies about the 2020 election.

“I have been privileged to be part of the Fox family for over two decades as a director and officer, and I have especially treasured my relationships with Rupert, Lachlan and our talented colleagues over the years,” Dinh said in a statement.

Legal scholars were surprised that Fox Corporation had allowed the lawsuit to get so close to a trial, settling only in the final moments after a jury was seated. Since Fox Corporation did not settle the lawsuit before it entered more mature stages, the company was forced to participate in the discovery process, which produced embarrassing messages from the Murdoch family, which controls Fox, and other senior executives and hosts.

Dinh is the latest senior executive to depart after the historic Dominion settlement. Raj Shah, a senior communications executive, exited the company earlier this year.

Fox also fired host Lou Dobbs in 2021 after another voting technology company, Smartmatic, filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against him and the network after he espoused conspiracy theories on the air.

Days after Fox settled the lawsuit with Dominion early this year, the company fired its star prime time host, the right-wing extremist Tucker Carlson. Reporting from several news outlets has indicated that some of Carlson’s communications, redacted in the court filings, played a crucial role in Fox’s decisions to sever ties with him, though Fox and Dominion both deny it was related to the massive settlement.