The publisher of the Daily Telegraph will have to part with $2.9 million, after it lost its appeal against a defamation payout awarded to actor Geoffrey Rush.
Rush was awarded the record sum last year, following a Daily Telegraph story that alleged the actor had acted inappropriately with young female actors during a Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear in 2015-2016.
Rush has denied the claims.
Nationwide News’s lawyers appealed the ruling on 16 grounds, arguing the sum of the damages were “excessive”.
The full Federal Court has today dismissed all grounds of the appeal.
“This is a case in which particular regard should be had to the advantage which the judge had in seeing and hearing the evidence as it was given,” the appeal judgment said.
“In our view, the judge’s findings are not glaringly improbable, contrary to compelling inferences or inconsistent with incontrovertible facts or other uncontested testimony.”
The payout is comprised of $850,000 in general and aggravated damages, $1.9 million for past and future economic loss, and $42,000 in interest.
The judgement argued the amount awarded to rush was “appropriately high” given the severity of the accusations.
The Daily Telegraph editor Ben English issued a statement on the ruling:
“In November 2017 The Daily Telegraph published an article based on a public statement by the Sydney Theatre Company that an actor had made a complaint against Geoffrey Rush. While we respect the findings of the Full Court the Rush case exposes the inadequacies of Australia’s defamation laws and heightens the need for urgent legislative reform to enable public debate and to encourage women to come forward with their concerns.
“In that context we are very disappointed that the appellate court did not reverse Justice Wigney’s findings as to the credibility of Eryn Jean Norvill or reverse His Honour’s decision to exclude the testimony of Yael Stone. We support both women in their decision to share their complaints.
“We will continue to report on the issues such as these which are of great concern to the Australian public. As stated by High Court Chief Justice Susan Kiefel last week, there is no place for sexual harassment in any workplace.”
The brainchild of co-founders Gina Williams-Folau (main photo) and Greer Bland, the talent agency Liquorice was born out of a desire to make things easier for brand managers. Liquorice offers social talent for brands wanting to hit the sweet spot with Kiwi audiences. Launching with a roster of big names on board including Millie Elder-Holmes, Athena […]
9000 Western Australians experiencing homelessness are about to face cold winter nights. To call for donations to the 2021 Winter Appeal, Anglicare WA has released a chilling video with renowned actor Liam Graham, best known for his starring roles in Greenfield and The Heights, experiencing mild hypothermia after spending one hour in a commercial freezer. […]
Blackmagic Design has shared how its products were used to shoot the latest commercial campaign for Chris Hemsworth’s fitness training app, Centr. The new campaign, which promotes the progressive 10 week workout plan ‘Power’ replicates the same protocols used to prepare the actor for his latest appearance in the upcoming Marvel franchise film, Thor: Love […]
Airtasker has chosen leading independent digital growth consultancy, Webprofits as a strategic partner to help them expand to new markets. Following a successful IPO in early 2021, Airtasker set its sights on the next strategic objective — expansion and growth in the UK market. After careful review, they partnered with the growth marketing specialists at […]
Cresta Awards has announced that despite having a few more weeks before entries close, this year’s Cresta Awards has surpassed its entries for the whole 2019 Season. Cresta sees this as evidence, not just of evolution in its own awards but of a wider measure of industry confidence and resilience in many markets. The awards […]