It appears News Corp is backing away from its controversial columnist Miranda Devine after it refused to be served court papers in her defamation case with young Indigenous boy, Quaden Bayles.
As reported on B&T earlier this month, Quaden and his mother Yarraka is suing Devine (pictured below) in the Federal Court after the News’ correspondent tweeted that viral footage of the highly distressed youngster was a “scam” to make money.
Back in February a video shot by his mother attracted global attention after it showed Quaden – who has achondroplasia dwarfism – highly distressed from schoolyard bullying and ended with the nine-year-old saying “he wanted to die right now”.
Devine, who is currently on secondment to News’ The New York Post, retweeted a post that said Quaden was an “Australian actor whose mom … posted a fake sobbing video of him” and “the MSM (mainstream media) and Hollywood fell for it and got him $300K+ in donations”.
Above her retweet, Devine wrote: “That’s really rotten if this was a scam. Hurts genuine bullying victims. Over to @dailytelegraph.”
Devine published the tweets on her own personal Twitter account and it’s unclear how and if News Corp will be implicated in the case. Devine later tweeted she was “wholly sympathetic to Quaden” and there had been a “disinformation campaign about my Quaden Bayles tweets”.
In her lawsuit, Yarraka Bayles names News Corp subsidiary Nationwide News, the publisher of The Daily Telegraph, as a defendant. Bayles’ lawyers inferring Devine’s employer is also responsible for its employees’ tweets.
On Friday, News’ lawyers told the Federal Court Devine’s tweets were “private” and unrelated to material it published.
It added that the Bayles’ lawyers would need to serve Devine the papers in New York, as it would not accept them here as it was not authorised to accept service on the columnist’s behalf.
Devine has yet to file a defence or acknowledge the claim despite Bayles’ legal team saying they had sent Devine the papers via two email addresses – a hotmail and a work email address.
In a judgement yesterday determining preliminary issues, Justice Katzmann said the Bayles had a prima facie case (in that it’s true until proven otherwise) against Devine.
But Justice Katzmann knocked back an attempt to have the court rule it was not practicable to serve US-based Devine personally – a bureaucratic process that can take months.
Court documents also revealed that Quaden has been diagnosed with critical respiratory failure and is currently in the care of the Paediatric Palliative Care Unit at Queensland Children’s Hospital.
The court also heard that Quaden and his mother had received death threats following a “false and malicious internet conspiracy” and, because of it, he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, the lawyer said.
Culture-leading publisher Highsnobiety continues to evolve its local operations with the appointment of Citizens of Culture as its strategic partner across media operations within Australia. Highsnobiety is a premium global brand dedicated to cultural pioneers, with work spanning across digital platforms, print media, documentaries, cutting edge events, a shopping platform and a full service creative […]
An investigation by British broadcaster ITV has found that Amazon is destroying millions of items in unsold or returned stock. The report specifically focuses on one of the 24 warehouses the company has in the UK. According to ITV News, the destroyed items are largely unused and new, either returned items or those which never […]
Australian fashion brand Witchery has partnered with B Corp GlamCorner as part of GlamCorner’s subscription box offering as the demand for everyday essentials soars. This partnership marks another milestone for the Australian fashion industry towards becoming more circular and introducing more paths to reduce textile waste. Customers nationally will be able to rent more of […]
The media, marketing and creative industries are being encouraged to host their own ‘Curry Club for COVID’ before 30th June to help meet the ambitious $100k target set by its organisers. Curry Club for COVID, which was conceived by long-time adtech executive Peter Bray, sales director at Impact, and is powered by industry social purpose organisation […]
The UnLtd Cup is returning for its tenth consecutive year, marking a decade of soccer shenanigans that’s raised nearly $500,000 for children’s mental health charity, KidsXpress. On July 22-23rd, 28 teams from across the industry will battle it out on the soccer field in the two-day tournament at Sydney University Sports and Fitness Centre, Darlington. […]
Australian-bred company Ultra Commerce has acquired New Zealand-based company Vesta eCommerce, a global software business providing leading product data management solutions. The recent acquisition is a significant move for the business, which is Australian born, owned, and headquartered, but has built out a global presence as it pursues rapid growth in the eCommerce market. Connecting […]
Canteen’s latest campaign features the combined talents of Director Luna Laure and creative agency Crater. The campaign strives to raise awareness for young people affected by cancer. The awareness campaign centres around Harry Barentson, who at 12 years of age found out his pregnant mum had cancer. The campaign aims to bring awareness to Canteen’s […]