Craig McLachlan Drops Defamation Case Before Defence Has Day In Court

Craig McLachlan Drops Defamation Case Before Defence Has Day In Court

Craig McLachlan has shockingly dropped his defamation proceedings against Christie Whelan Browne, Nine Newspaper and The ABC.

Mclachlan made the surprising move on the very day the defence was set to make its case against the actor. Basically, now no one will have the opportunity to testify against Mclachlan.

It was a pretty costly move on the actor’s part, as he will now have to pay the defendants’ court costs, as the hearing was already on its 10th day.

Interestingly, McLachlan resumed defamation action against The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, and the ABC following after being found not guilty of all charges of indecent assault of four women. However, he has decided not to follow through. 

The ABC reported that acting Justice Simpson said: “Mr McLachlan has decided not to proceed any further with either of these cases.

“That means the case is brought to an end; it’s finished.”

Meanwhile, Justin Stevens, ABC News Director, released a statement that said:  “Tremendous result for the women who were brave enough to come forward and tell their stories, particularly Christie Whelan Browne.

“Eleven women came forward to give evidence against McLachlan. “They would not be silenced. It is crucial that defamation laws also not be used to silence the media in reporting accurately and with integrity on matters of public interest.

“The ABC stands by its journalism. It stands by the women who came forward. It stands by Christie Whelan Browne.”

In a statement, McLachlan said: “I cannot continue to place my family under that strain, and my own mental health will not withstand the continuing pressure.”

“Ending the case now will finally bring to an end the four years we have endured since the publications were first made, as well as avoiding the need for other witnesses to have to endure the cross-examination process.”

Executive Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Tory Maguire released a statement about the outcome of the Craig McLachlan defamation case: “The Sydney Morning Herald and the ABC published their investigation on Craig McLachlan during the height of the #MeToo movement.

“McLachlan’s claim against one of his victims, Christie Whelan Browne, and the media outlets, utilising Australia’s defamation laws, has had a chilling effect on victims’ willingness to tell their stories about other abusers, and the media’s ability to report on these serious allegations.

“The victims, the media and the public’s right to know has been damaged by this case, more than any costs order can ever repay.  This result today is a vindication of both McLachlan’s victims and our public interest journalism.”

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