Fox News is facing another legal challenge in the wake of the January 6 insurrection.
Ray Epps, an Arizona man who has become a figure in conspiracy theories surrounding the riot, is suing the network for defamation.
The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of Delaware, is the latest in a string of legal filings against the right-wing network. This action stems from conspiracy theories that arose after the failed insurrection that involved Epps that were amplified by Fox News.
What is Ray Epps suing for?
Epps lawsuit claims that Fox intentionally broadcasted false information, “with knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for truth.” The suit goes on to claim that the network engaged in a pre-conceived story line and that, “Fox—and specifically Mr. Carlson—decided that Epps was the villain they needed to distract from the Dominion lawsuit.”
The suit points towards episodes from Tucker Carlson tonight that cast Epps as an FBI agent working undercover to provoke rioters to overturn the election by force. Epps was present at the riot and was on the Capitol steps but never entered the building, according to the lawsuit.
Epps has stated that he has not worked for any police force, though he is a Marine veteran.
Carlson is the primary Fox News personality cited in the lawsuit; however he is not alone. Laura Inghram, Will Cain and Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson are also named as persons who advanced the conspiracy theory around Epps.
The Epps family has faced multiple death threats and have sold their Arizona home and business due to the barrage.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages but leaves the amount up to a jury.
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Fox News lawsuits pile up
Fox News has faced multiple lawsuits following their coverage of the 2020 Presidential Election.
In April the right-wing media giant settled a defamation suit with Dominion Voting Systems for $785.5 million dollars after the network made false claims about the company’s role in the election. A similar lawsuit continues with Smartmatic, another voting system manufacturer.
The suit also cites Abby Grossberg, a former Carlson producer, who in June settled a harassment lawsuit against Carlson and Fox News where she alleged that she was intended to be the scapegoat in the Dominion lawsuit and that the culture of Fox News was misogynistic and toxic.
USA Today has reached out to Fox News and has not received comment.