Oscar winning actor Geoffrey Rush has been awarded the largest ever defamation pay out to a single person in Australia.
Rush was awarded A$2.9m (£1.57m) after winning the case against Nationwide News, which publishes Australia’s Daily Telegraph after it published stories accusing him of behaving inappropriately towards his former co-star Eryn Jean Norvill in a production of King Lear in 2015.
The judge found that Ms Norvill was “prone to exaggeration” and called the reporting a “recklessly irresponsible piece of sensationalist journalism of … the very worst kind”.
Rush has sought an injunction to prevent the Telegraph re-publishing accusations at the heart of the case.
Rush was awarded $850,000 in general and aggravated damages plus more than $1m for past economic loss, $919,678 in future economic loss and $42,000 in interest; he was originally seeking more than $25m in damages.
Actress Rebel Wilson was awarded A$4.7m pay out last year, but that sum was reduced to $600,000 on appeal.
She sued magazine publisher Bauer Media over articles that she said had wrongly portrayed her as a serial liar, but an appeals court later found that “there was no basis in the evidence for making any award of damages for economic loss.”
If you have been defamed or have been accused of making defamatory statements our Commercial Litigation solicitors will quickly and efficiently put your case together and act on your behalf. Call Vijay Srivastava or Shalish Mehta in our civil and commercial litigation department on 0161 624 6811(Option 6) or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We can advise you on the appropriate course of action and assist with any legal documents or proceedings that may occur.
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