Fox Information was hit with a defamation lawsuit on Wednesday by Trump supporter Ray Epps after former host Tucker Carlson repeatedly known as Epps an undercover FBI agent who orchestrated the January 6 riot on the US Capitol.
Carlson mentioned Epps, an Arizona resident and former marine, “helped stage-manage the riot” – a conspiracy he broadcast in almost 20 episodes.
Carlson additionally instructed viewers that Epps was recorded urging the mob to enter the Capitol constructing, however that he by no means entered himself.
Epps’s lawsuit, which was filed in Delaware, comes months after the conservative community’s mum or dad group settled a defamation lawsuit for $787.5m with Dominion Voting Programs for spreading falsehoods concerning the consequence of the 2020 election.
Epps claims he and his spouse, Robyn, have obtained demise threats and that their lives have been ruined due to Carlson’s conspiracies.
The lawsuit reads: “As Fox just lately discovered in its litigation in opposition to Dominion Voting Programs, its lies have penalties.”
The lawsuit describes Epps as a “loyal Fox viewer and Trump supporter” and refuted the notion he was a federal agent.
Earlier than the lawsuit, Epps’s lawyer Michael Teter despatched Fox Information a cease-and-desist letter, demanding an on-air apology and retraction of the conspiracy idea. Teter mentioned the community didn’t reply to the letter.
Authorized specialists famous earlier this week that whereas Epps should show that Carlson’s claims broken his status, he presents a robust argument and due to this fact probably has standing.
David D Lin, an legal professional at Lewis and Lin LLC Web Legislation Counsel, mentioned he believes “there may be loads of potential danger right here to Fox and they should take the claims very severely,” earlier than including that Carlson might be personally liable if the swimsuit included him.
Epps might face costs himself for his position within the January 6 riot. He was questioned by the Home January 6 committee, although the investigation continues to be ongoing.