Jarryd Hayne supporter wins damages from Seven

A long-running defamation case between an NRL fan and Seven has ended in the Federal Court.

An NRL supporter has been awarded $35,000 after suing Channel Seven over false reporting of a 2021 incident after Jarryd Hayne (pictured) was convicted of rape, despite a judge finding the man engaged in “generally disgraceful behaviour” after the former league star was sentenced.

Mina Greiss who was outside the Newcastle court spat in the direction of Hayne’s rape victim.

Guardian Australia reports Greiss denied he spat at Hayne’s rape victim and sued Seven for defamation over an article published online and Facebook page, as well as a tweet by Seven journalist Leonie Ryan.

Federal court justice Anna Katzmann found Greiss had spat in a garden bed in the victim’s direction and stared at her and urged waiting journalists to describe her as an “escort” in their articles.

The defamatory statements he spat at the victim did no further harm to his reputation, the judge found.

Seven succeeded in running a contextual truth defence for its news article and Ryan’s tweet, with the judge finding the publication contained true statements that Greiss had engaged in other disgraceful behaviour outside the courthouse.

Seven failed in a defence its news article or Facebook post were merely honest opinions, however, it succeeded in showing Ryan’s tweet was her own opinion.

Greiss’ lawyer, Sue Chrysanthou, previously told the court that her client had suffered significant reputational damage after he was identified in the articles shared online.

With Greiss only able to show that the network’s Facebook post was defamatory, Justice Katzmann awarded him “nominal damages”.

She awarded $35,000 in damages plus interest for Greiss’ feelings of shame, anger, embarrassment and distress regarding the Facebook post.