A former Marine and Trump supporter is suing Fox News for defamation over claims he helped incite the Jan. 6 riots.
Ray Epps, 61, claims in a new lawsuit that he has become the subject of various conspiracy theories after comments made by former network host Tucker Carlson.
The lawsuit states: ‘As Fox focused on voting machine companies while falsely claiming a rigged election, Fox knew it needed a scapegoat for January 6th.
‘It zeroed in on Ray Epps and began spreading the lie that Epps was a federal agent who had instigated the attack on the Capitol.’
Carlson, who was fired in April, accused Epps of being a ‘federal agent who helped stage the coup.’
Ray Epps claims in a new lawsuit that he was the subject and victim of various conspiracy theories
Carlson made the comments on his late-night show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, after showing a video of Epps urging others to join him in entering the Capitol.
During the segment in July last year, Carlson said: ‘Now we’ve asked Ray Epps repeatedly on this show why he thinks he’s acquitted, and we’re going to ask him again tonight, and we’re going to ask because we think it’s very Obvious and important question.’
People were videotaped urging people to go to the Capitol, yet he, like 1,000 others, was never charged – giving rise to theories that he was an FBI plant sent to whip up the riot.
The complaint was filed in Delaware Superior Court, where Fox agreed to settle $787.5 million in a separate defamation suit with Dominion Voting Systems.
The group claimed the agency helped rig the 2020 election against Trump, which was eventually settled out of court.
Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment by DailyMail.com about the latest case.
However, they requested that the case be moved to federal district court in Wilmington, Delaware.
The suit added: ‘When Fox, through its on-air personalities and guests, told its audience that the 2020 election was stolen, Epps was listening.
Epps (right) said he thought he could calm the crowd before storming the Capitol
Ray Epps spoke with 60 Minutes about being identified as an FBI infiltrator during the Jan. 6 riots and how it affected him and his wife.
Carlson made the comments on his late-night show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, after showing a video urging him to join others in entering the Capitol.
‘He trusted Fox. And when Epps kept hearing that Trump supporters should be allowed to voice their opinions on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C., Epps took it to heart.’
Epps is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit as conspiracy theories quickly spread online.
His suit is the latest in a long line of legal troubles for the broadcaster, which saw a $2.7 billion suit from a second voting technology company, Smartmatic.
Epps told the Jan. 6 committee in a transcript released Thursday that his wife, Robin Ebbs (pictured), had to move out of their home because of concerns for her safety due to threats.
Fox was hit by two separate claims from the corporation’s shareholders as well as Carlson’s former producer — who settled for $12 million for allegedly condoning and encouraging a toxic workplace.
Epps claims he and his wife Robin were targeted online, received numerous death threats and had to sell their five-acre ranch in Arizona.
The couple said they were forced to move into a 350-square-foot mobile home parked in a remote trailer park in the mountains of Utah.
Epps’ lawyers previously demanded that Fox retract its stories about him and his alleged role in the Capitol riots and issue an on-air apology. They did not respond.
Online retailers also sold shirts that read ‘Arrest Ray Epps’ with accusations that he had been ‘turned into a cartoonish conspiracy theory character’.
Epps confirmed he was formerly in the Marine Corps, but denied under oath working for any government agency or law enforcement agency.
The Justice Department did not charge Epps with any wrongdoing on Jan. 6, though his lawsuit now claims it was planning to file one against him in May.
Epps was not arrested or charged for his actions on January 6, although he was pictured in a crowd of rioters and caught on video calling for people to storm the Capitol.
Epps’ lawyers previously demanded that Fox retract its stories about him and his alleged role in the Capitol riots and issue an on-air apology. They did not respond
Video of the Capitol riots was used to claim that Ray Epps (pictured) was working undercover with the FBI to instigate the attacks on January 6, 2021.
Why did some believe that Ray Epps was an FBI infiltrator to incite riots?
Epps was one of the more recognizable figures in the riots – at 6ft 4, he stood out.
On January 5, as Trump supporters milled around Washington DC on the eve of the rally, Epps spoke to reporters campaigning and said: ‘We have to go to the Capitol.’
He was highly visible on January 6 and was present when the barricades blocking the way to the Capitol were knocked down – although he did not push them down himself.
He is seen at one point whispering into the ear of someone who then pushes through the barricade: conspiracy theorists say it was Epps’ order. Epps said he told the man not to attack the police.
Speculation about Epps reached a frenzy when, after he spoke to the FBI, his face and name were removed from a wanted poster.
Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Matt Getz, and Marjorie Taylor Greene are among those who have claimed that Apes was sent to an FBI plant, to incite riots.
The FBI eventually confirmed that Epps did not work for them, and never did.
While the details of the charges remain unclear, her lawsuit claims they are being filed undermining the notion that Epps was protected because of her alleged federal role.
His lawyer, Michael Teter, said in a statement: ‘Ray is taking the next step for his rights by seeking accountability for Fox’s lies that have caused so much harm to him and Robin.’
Speaking to 60 Minutes in April, Epps said she had a “difficult time” dealing with the reaction to her involvement.
He said: ‘I have a hard time, being a man, being a Marine, running away. I had to do what was necessary to keep my family safe.
‘There was a sloppy election, and then you’re talking about problems with the voting machines.
‘So I wanted to be there – I wanted to see for myself.’ I said something stupid.
‘My thought process was: We surround the Capitol, we get all the people there. I had some problems with the election.’
‘I looked back at the Capitol and there were people crawling over the walls of the Capitol.
‘And it looked like – it looked terrible. I mean, I was a bit ashamed of what was going on at the time, so I started going out.’
Still he sent a text to his nephew, saying: ‘I sorted it.’
The text was seized as evidence that Epps had deliberately stirred up controversy. But he insisted it was a foolish conceit.
‘I was bragging to my nephew,’ she said. Asked what he meant by ‘orchestrating’ it, he explained: ‘I helped people get there. I was taking people.’
Epps’ wife Robyn added: ‘What people have done to Ray and ourselves is so sad.’
The FBI confirmed to CBS for the first time that the apps did not work for them, and never had.
Epps was shown footage of the riot by the ’60 Minutes’ team, and said he found it difficult – adding that he was ‘ashamed’ to have been there.
Rebels are seen entering the building, with Vice President Mike Pence and others inside
‘Brings back some bad memories,’ he said after watching the clip. ‘It’s hard to see our Capitol under attack.’
Robin added: ‘Some people just say let it go, let it die – but it doesn’t.’
Carlson, 54, said last week he didn’t know why the network gave him the boot and questioned the security of electronic voting machines.
The former cable host said he’s enjoying his free time in rural Maine, but he’s still involved in what’s going on in the world.
He hired the same lawyer who fired CNN host Don Lemon in the wake of his declining career and announced he would start his own show on Twitter.
With no official reason to oust Carlson, Fox sent him a cease-and-desist letter and threatened legal action to create a competing Twitter series.