Geoffrey Rush wins $2.9m payout

Actor Geoffrey Rush has been awarded nearly $2.9 million in his defamation case against Nationwide News.

The sum is the largest ever defamation payout to an individual in Australian legal history.

In November 2017, the newspaper published front pages and articles alleging Rush behaved inappropriately towards a young actress during the Sydney Theatre Company’s 2015-16 production of King Lear.

Rush sued The Daily Telegraph and journalist Jonathon Moran following the article headlined “King Leer.”

Last month Justice Michael Wigney described the article as an “recklessly irresponsible piece of sensationalism journalism of the very worst kind” adding it was “calculated to damage.” He noted the article destroyed Rush’s reputation and awarded initial aggravated damages to Rush of $850,000 plus $42,302 interest for non-economic loss.

Today the judge awarded Rush a further $1.98 million for past and future economic loss.

Rush’s barrister, Sue Chrysanthou, today said Rush had offered in early 2018 to settle in exchange for an apology and $50,000 plus costs but Nationwide News didn’t respond.

Nationwide News is appealing the defamation verdict on 16 grounds Justice Wigney was biased, one of those includes that “Witness X” Yael Stone’s evidence could not be admitted.

Source: Nine, ABC

10 Comments:

  1. My favourite part of the article – “Rush’s barrister, Sue Chrysanthou, today said Rush had offered in early 2018 to settle in exchange for an apology and $50,000 plus costs but Nationwide News didn’t respond.”

  2. equality_street

    Never heard of anything like it re. The Yael Stone interview on ABC. As has been said, hasnt been tested in a court of law. Never in the court of public opinion or Leigh Sales closed opinion in the line of her questioning. Wonder why the judge didn’t allow Yael Stone’s version to be included in this case.

  3. I have no faith in the courts after Rebel Wilson had to pay most of her initial settlement back. Sadly, I expect a similar outcome for Mr Rush.

    It’s no wonder that more high-profile people aren’t pursuing legal action considering that the media keeps getting away with their scummy behaviour. Commonfolk wouldn’t even stand a chance.

  4. Seems fair to me, get the police & courts to deal with it legally then you can spill the beans in the media, not the other way around. So does the ABC get off without punishment for their role in this unless Rush also goes after them in court?

  5. Maev....Sydney

    These newspapers and magazines need to be held more to account….I believe in freedom of the press….but I also understand that you cannot go about saying what ever you like about people…without a shred of evidence…Making out like facts are gospel…just on hearsay …

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