(NEW YORK) — The settlement agreement between Fox and Dominion Voting Systems amounted to a warning shot for other media companies that may spread falsehoods, CEO of Dominion Voting Systems John Poulos said on Wednesday in an exclusive ABC News interview, his first since the settlement.
“I think that it’s a big step forward in democracy if our system can send a signal that if media companies lie — whoever they are or whatever channel they’re on — and they do so knowingly, they will be prepared to pay a very high price,” Poulos told George Stephanopoulos on ABC News’ Good Morning America on Wednesday.
Poulos’ statements came a day after his company reached a settlement agreement in its high-profile defamation suit against Fox.
Fox agreed to a $787.5 million settlement in the suit, which had sought $1.6 billion in damages. The suit had accused Fox News of recklessly airing false election claims and conspiracy theories in the wake of the 2020 presidential election.
“We weren’t ready to settle until all the facts we discovered came to light,” Poulos told ABC News in his first interview since the settlement.
Poulos said he feels they got accountability from Fox with this settlement, pointing to all of the facts that had come to light in the hundreds of private communications that were released as part of the suit, but said the effect on his company has been “devastating.”
“If we could have our company back and undo it, we would have it in a second,” he said.
Poulos said he was not surprised it took so long for Fox to settle, saying, “This was not the case of a media company pursuing the truth and making a mistake — they knew.”
Speaking outside the courtroom on Tuesday after the settlement was announced, Poulos said that Fox had “admitted to telling lies about Dominion,” although it wasn’t immediately clear whether Fox officials had agreed in the settlement to make such an admission.
“Truth matters. Lies have consequences,” Justin Nelson, an attorney for Dominion Voting Systems, said as he announced details of the company’s settlement with Fox News during a press conference following the court’s adjournment.
Fox News said in a statement after the agreement was announced that it was “pleased” to have reach the settlement.
“We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false,” the statement said. “This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards.”
Poulos on Wednesday said the lawsuit was “never really about Fox, per se, it was about the media telling the truth.”
Noting the other lawsuits against Trump allies the company is still bringing, Poulos said “We will pursue all of them.”
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.