Geoffrey Rush Awarded $1.9 Million In Defamation Case Against Sydney Newspaper

Written by on June 9, 2019

Australia (4E) – Geoffrey Rush has won the defamation case he filed against a Sydney newspaper publisher and journalist that published an article about the alleged harassment the actor committed towards his theater co-star.

The award-winning actor has been awarded $2.9 million Australian dollars (over $1.9 million US dollars) for winning the case against The Daily Telegraph. He filed the defamation suit against the Sydney-based newspaper after it reported in 2017 that Rush inappropriately touched his co-star, Eryn Jean Norvill, during a theater production of ‘King Lear’ in 2015 and 2016. The report also alleged that the actor followed her female co-star in the bathroom and sent an inappropriate text message, CNN reported.

Rush has denied the accusations.

Last month, federal court judge Justice Wigney ruled in favor of Rush and said that the newspaper had been “extravagant and reckless” in its reporting.

“This was a recklessly irresponsible piece of sensational journalism of the worst kind,” Wigney said in her decision.

The award was granted to compensate Rush for the financial losses he suffered as a result of the defaming, losses which Justice Wigney determined would continue in the future. Wigney ruled that Rush’s earnings would be affected for as long as two years due to the “vindication of his reputation.”

According to The Guardian, Rush’s lawyer, Sue Chrysanthou said that the actor previously offered to settle the case in 2018 in exchange for an apology and $50,000 plus costs. The publisher, however, did not respond to the offer.

News Corp, The Daily Telegraph’s publisher, is appealing Wigney’s decision, saying the judge’s conduct “gave rise to an apprehension of bias.” They’ve also sought to have Wigney recuse himself from the case.

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