Musician and former Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns has received a $470,000 payout after he successfully sued News Corp for defamation after The Sunday Telegraph published an article claiming the 40-year-old was a regular at a Sydney brothel and sex dungeon.
Nine’s The Sydney Morning Herald reported over the weekend that Johns received a $470,000 payout from News that included $170,000 in damages and $300,000 for legal expenses.
Last week, The Sunday Telegraph published an apology to Johns that read: “The story was wrong. Mr Johns was not leaving the brothel and The Sunday Telegraph accepts he has never been there at any other time.”
The original headline read: “King Of The Kastle: Rocker Daniel Johns swaggers out of a notorious bondage dungeon after a two-week bender”.
Johns immediately called out the story as untrue, claimed he’d never even been to The Kastle and called the report “hurtful, humiliating, and damaging to me and my family”.
His claims were backed-up by The Kastle’s owner, Mistress Scarlett who tweeted at the time: “In response to today’s Daily Telegraph [sic] article, we state that Daniel Johns was not on the premises nor has been previously.
“We’re unsure of the source of this false information. In our 30 year history, we’ve never revealed the identity of clients and take privacy very seriously,” the tweet read.
The article included photographs of a dishevelled Johns apparently leaving The Kastle; however, Johns said he was merely in the area at the time visiting friends.
Johns immediately initiated defamation proceedings in the Victorian Supreme Court while News removed the article from its website.
The legal stoush took nine months to resolve, resulting in Johns racking-up a hefty $300,000 legal bill. News’ costs are unclear.
Last week, News admitted its wrongdoing and any of its news sites that ran the original article also issued an apology to Johns.
Johns published News’ apology to his Facebook page with a simple footnote: “Now … back to the music”.
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