Geoffrey Rush wins defamation case against Daily Telegraph
Geoffrey Rush has won his defamation case against Nationwide News, the publisher of The Daily Telegraph.
The prominent Australian actor launched legal action against the organisation over articles which alleged he engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct.
Justice Michael Wigney said he did not consider the accusations made against Mr Rush as “credible or reliable”.
Mr Rush claimed the articles had “irreparably damaged” his reputation by suggesting he sexually harassed and inappropriately touched his co-star Eryn Jean Norvill.
Speaking outside court, Geoffrey Rush said “I’m pleased to acknowledge the decisions made this afternoon by the federal court of Australia, but there are no winners in this case,
“Its been extremely distressing for everyone involved,” the actor said.
He’s been awarded $850,000, with special damages to be considered at a later date.
President of the Victorian Bar and defamation lawyer, Matt Collins QC, said Rush’s ultimate payout could be much higher.
“He sought general damages, which are essentially to restore your reputation, and he’s been awarded $850,000 for that, but he’s also sought damages for economic loss – opportunities which he said he lost because of the Daily Telegraph’s articles,” Mr Collins told 3AW Drive.
“The judge is satisfied that he lost roles an opportunities because of the journalism…but he needs to give it further consideration before he puts a dollar value on it,” he said.
In a statement Editor of the Daily telegraph in Sydney Ben English said, “We are disappointed with Justice Wigney’s findings, in particular his dismissal of Eryn Jean Norvill’s evidence. We disagree with his criticisms of her and she has our full support. “We will now review the judgment.”