(Reuters) – Two election workers in Georgia who were targets of conspiracy theories with vote-rigging have reached a settlement agreement with the far-right One America News Network in their defamation lawsuit against the store, according to court papers filed on Thursday.
Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a voice registration official in Fulton County, and Ruby Freeman, Moss’ mother and deputy for the 2020 election, sued OAN officials along with former US President Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer Rudy Giuliani for spreading lies about them in their efforts to reverse Trump’s election loss.
The agreement announced Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Washington will result in Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman asks Chief Justice Beryl Howell to dismiss the OAN defendants from the trial. In addition to the network itself, the accused are OAN̵7;s CEO Robert Herring, President Charles Herring and reporter Chanel Rion.
The terms of the settlement were not disclosed in a joint progress report submitted to the court.
The settlement will leave only Mr Giuliani as respondent. Joseph Sibley, the lawyer representing OAN defendants and Giuliani, did not respond to requests for comment.
The lawsuit alleges that OAN sent stories that falsely accused Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman of conspiring to produce secret batches of illegal ballot papers and running them through voting machines to help Joe Biden, a Democrat, defeat Trump, a Republican.
There is no evidence to support the allegations of electoral fraud, which have been repeatedly dismissed by election officials in Georgia.
Giuliani, who spearheaded Trump’s efforts to overthrow Biden’s election victory, appeared at a hearing with Georgia lawmakers where he showed footage of surveillance footage showing the two women at work in a ballot room at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. He repeatedly identified Ms Moss and Ms Freeman by name and called them “villains” who “obviously” stole votes.
A government investigation said the entire video showed the women correctly and legally counting ballot papers.
Mr. Biden won a narrow victory in Georgia 2020, helped by a strong show in Atlanta, located in Fulton County.
Mr. Trump’s election campaign team circulated OAN stories about the two women, and Trump himself played excerpts from the video at a meeting with voters.
Ms Moss and Ms Freeman reported that they were under siege by violent threats from Trump supporters after the OAN and the Trump campaign began circulating the reports.
The trial aimed to remove the reports of Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss from OAN’s websites and other media channels, as well as compensatory and punitive damages.
Moss and Freeman said in their joint status report that they had a “successful one-day mediation” on Tuesday with OAN defendants and had “signed a binding set of settlement terms” with them.
Michael Gottlieb, lawyer for Ms Moss and Ms Freeman, called it “a fair and reasonable settlement”, in a statement.