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BANGKOK 21 July 2019 16:38
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Australian actor Geoffrey Rush wins record defamation payout

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Australian actor Geoffrey Rush wins record defamation payout

 

2019-05-23T093919Z_1_LYNXNPEF4M0PP_RTROPTP_4_PEOPLE-RUSH-LAWSUIT.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Australian actor Geoffrey Rush reacts as he arrives at the Federal Court in Sydney, Australia, November 8, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

 

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has been awarded a A$2.8 million ($1.9 million) defamation payment against a News Corp tabloid, the largest defamation payout in Australian history, after it accused him in reports of inappropriate behaviour.

 

Australia's Federal Court ordered that an Australian arm of News Corp pay the Oscar-winning actor A$1.98 million for past and future economic loss, in addition to an initial A$850,000 payment awarded in April, court documents showed on Thursday.

 

A News Corp spokeswoman did not immediately respond to emailed and telephoned requests for comment. Rush's lawyer declined to comment.

 

Rush, 67, had said the articles in the Daily Telegraph of Sydney were hastily compiled because the newspaper had wanted an Australian angle on accusations of sexual assault levelled at U.S. film producer Harvey Weinstein.

 

Under the headline "KING LEER", and in later articles, the paper had said Rush, playing the title role of a 2015 Sydney Theatre Company production of Shakespeare's "King Lear", had been accused by a co-star of unspecified inappropriate conduct.

 

The actor who won an Oscar in 1997 for his role in "Shine" and has since appeared in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, said the stories implied he was a "major pervert" or guilty of major depravity.

 

In handing down his decision in April, Justice Michael Wigney called the stories "recklessly irresponsible" and "sensationalist journalism of the worst kind, the very worst kind".

 

The newspaper said this month there were 16 grounds for appeal, and that Wigney's conduct of the case "gave rise to an apprehension of bias".

 

Wigney also dismissed an application by News Corp that he recuse himself.

 

Australia has among the world's strictest defamation laws. Actress Rebel Wilson was awarded $A4.6 million in damages from Germany's Bauer Media which was found to have defamed her in a serious of articles, before that was cut to $A600,000 on appeal last year.

 

($1 = 1.4552 Australian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Melanie Burton, additional reporting by Tom Westbrook in SYDNEY; Editing by Robert Birsel)

 

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 -- © Copyright Reuters 2019-05-24
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I'm not surprised at the outcome. It always seemed to me ridiculous that an actor could be defamed for occasionally stroking the breast or other body part of an actress. Such behaviour is so common in so many films and a part of the nature of the profession.

 

If he had had actual sexual intercourse without consent, forcing himself on an actress, then that would be justification for the defamation article.

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2 hours ago, giddyup said:

What was Rebel Wilson accused of, acting without talent?

She won the suit, so the point you're making is that she does have talent?

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Good for him.  From what I read he was willing to settle for 50,000 dollars but the fools didn't take it.  

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1 hour ago, connda said:

Good for him.  From what I read he was willing to settle for 50,000 dollars but the fools didn't take it.  

But his  lawyers  are ever so pleased !

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16 minutes ago, Dumbastheycome said:

But his  lawyers  are ever so pleased !

I believe they're partying at the ritz carlton tonight   ... :whistling:

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On 5/24/2019 at 7:44 AM, webfact said:

Australia has among the world's strictest defamation laws.

Sounds like they are unfamiliar with Thailand's laws.

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Quote"-

"defamation payment against a News Corp tabloid"

Isn't News Corp owned by that unpleasant Rupert Murdoch? 

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