Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has won his defamation case against The Daily Telegraph after the publication ran accusations of inappropriate behaviour against Rush by an actress.
Rush argued against two articles by The Daily Telegraph, one in November and another in December last year, that implied he was a "pervert" and behaved like a “sexual predator” while working on King Lear.
Justice Michael Wigney ruled in his favour yesterday afternoon, awarding him $850,000 in damages for non-economic loss.
A further date has been set for 10 May to assess damages for economic loss suffered by Rush, which the actor claims runs into millions.
Justice Wigney wasn’t satisfied with The Daily Telegraph’s ‘truth’ defence, which relied heavily on evidence from the accuser, actress Eryn Jean Norvill.
In response to the verdict The Daily Telegraph editor Ben English says it will review the judgment.
“We are disappointed with Justice Wigney’s findings, in particular his dismissal of Eryn Jean Norvill’s evidence,” English says.
“We disagree with his criticisms of her and she has our full support.”
The case once again raises concerns around strict defamation laws in Australia which make it difficult for news organisations to print stories of sexual harassment allegations.
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