A judge is considering a request by lawyers for the Daily Telegraph to introduce a new “Witness X” (name suppressed).
Barrister for Nationwide News, Tom Blackburn SC, told the court settlement talks with Rush had been underway for some time, but had gone nowhere.
He said after the talks failed to resolve anything, the newspaper decided on Tuesday to apply to amend its defence, including adding the new witness.
“Witness X” had approached Telegraph lawyers to come forward with her new evidence last Friday. Blackburn said the offer was “vital evidence” that goes to the heart of the case.
Justice Michael Wigney said amending the defence so late in the trial would mean a new trial would need to be conducted, and it might not be heard until well into 2019.
He said that might be unfair on Geoffrey Rush, who would have to be recalled to give evidence, after already being in the witness box for three days.
Judge Wigney reserved his decision until at least Monday.