What we know
And that's how we end the live blog today.
- Geoffrey Rush has received at least $ 850,000 – millions of dollars in prizes – from a series of articles printed by the Daily Telegraph.
- Judge Michael Wigney said the articles conveyed the allegations that Rush was "a pervert," "a sexual predator," and "sexual assault in a theater" during a production of King Lear in 2015-16.
- The Telegraph's defense of the truth failed.
- Wigney said the complainant, Eryn Jean Norvill, was "susceptible to exaggeration and beautification" and had been "contradicted" by director Neil Armfield and cast members Robyn Nevin and Helen Buday. Wigney harmed Rush over the Telegraph's bad journalistic behavior, calling it "a reckless, irresponsible piece of sensational journalism of the worst kind."
- He granted Rush $ 850,000 solely for the damage to his reputation and said he would grant more compensation for Rush's loss of earnings. This will be set on May 10, but will go into the millions given Rush's earning potential.
- The Daily Telegraph can appeal the costs and verdict, but this will not be known until after 10 May.
- Outside the court, Norvill said she stood by what she said and never intended to go to court.
Read the full report by Helen Davidson here:
The Daily Telegraph's failure to speak with Norvill himself also contributed to the "recklessness" that led to severe damage ,
Wigney writes: "It is significant that Mr. Moran [journalist] did not speak with Mrs. Norvill and did not confirm the details of the complaint with her. It is obvious that Mr. Moran knew that Mrs. Norvill did not want her identity to be revealed.
The role of "sensational reporting" in the award of Rush Wigney's judgment points to the front page of "King Leer."
"It's hard to see how the image on the front page can be considered justified in the light of the relative scant information that can be seen on the Internet. "
Wigney also pointed out that a double page inside the newspaper contained an article about Don Burke" in the same box "as the Rush article.
"Perhaps more importantly, the juxtaposition of the article on Don Burke and its inclusion in the same" box "as the articles on Mr. Rush were clearly linked, and it can be assumed that the allegations against Mr. Rush are related Rushing on the story of Don Burke and the wider Harvey-Weinstein scandal.
How far the allegations were published. Wigney writes: "The substance of Telegraph publications has been widely re-published in the United States and the United Kingdom."
- Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times (USA).
- The Guardian, Evening Standard, The Times, The Daily Mail, The Independent (UK)
- Boston 25 News, NBC New York, Fox News (US TV)
At last – is this case hanging on anything with our defamation law system?
Rolph: "This is a very untypical case, because it is a very profiled plaintiff who has been defamed in a very well-known manner. It was a story about an internationally known Australian who was apprehended and spread worldwide – in this sense, it is an atypical case of slander.
"From a different perspective, the case seems to prove – and the judge himself has emphasized that – that slander is unsuitable for judging the nature of the allegations made by the article, because of sexual harassment in the workplace, since this is very contradictory. "
It is very likely that the Telegraph will appeal the costs – much as Bauer Media challenged the rebel Wilson's costs has fit.
It is more difficult to predict whether they have cause to object to the finding against them. Legal errors can only be appealed, but not factual errors.
"It is always difficult to compromise a judgment that relates to listening to witnesses and things to weigh," says Rolph. "But it is not impossible. There were cases [of appeal of verdict] with judgments of the jury. "
Today's verdict was issued by the judge alone, which could make it easier for the telegraph to protest the verdict, says Rolph, because the reasons are so clear.
"Judges state reasons, but juries do not," he says.
Prof. Rolph says there is a possibility for a call from the Daily Telegraph – but we may have to wait.
"The Telegraph can appeal, but will probably have to wait until the next phase of this process. As the judge foreshadows, the amount of the damage for the economic damage is still pending. An appointment can be a break.
The defamation law expert, David Rolph of the University of Sydney, says this is "a sweeping victory" for Rush because the judge considers it necessary Holds "Completely Denied Truth Defense Through Nationwide News."
Wigney's written judgment further explains his remarks that Norvill considered "exaggerated and embellished."
Earlier, Norvill had said The Court, which she believed had made Armfield, Buday, and Nevin "complicit in the harassment," and admitted that this happened.
"We are of different generations," Norvill had said. "Maybe we have different ideas about what is culturally appropriate in a workplace."
Wigney rejected the idea that older actors would not notice sexual harassment because of their age. "This template is rejected," he wrote. "There is simply no basis for it."
He then went on to say, "Ms. Norvill's apparent willingness to throw such efforts at Mrs. Nevin, Ms. Buday, and Mr. Armfield did not reflect well, even if she had not intended their credibility and reliability as a witness. It showed a tendency to exaggerate and beautify.
Wigney's verdict attaches great importance to the evidence of Neil Armfield, who led King Lear.
"Mr. Armfield was present throughout the rehearsals. It's hard to imagine that as a director, he would have done anything but scrutinize and supervise the rehearsals. He denied having seen any of the behavior described by Mrs. Norvill.
"Any future victim of sexual misconduct who wants who wants to lodge a complaint with the papers … will now urged to stop doing so because the consequences are so extreme.
"If you have the judge who criticizes the evidence of the victim in this case – what he did, I thought unnecessarily and too verbosely – I think that sends a very bad sign, and it will mean that any coverage of these stories will be much more difficult than it was.
The moderator of Media Watch, Paul Barry, told ABC News that the Telegraph had been "pulled out of the park" by the verdict and that its Behavior in the publication "absolutely stunning" was.
"They turned to the Sydney Theater Company and asked if [there had been] there was a complaint. They had [Norvill’s] no evidence. They did not study the STC until November 28 and released it on the morning of the 30-36 hours later.
"I find it absolutely stunning that you can do this with a case of this importance. They go to Rush only 12 hours before Rush and two or three hours before the press to roll. "
Wigney on the credibility of Norvill as a witness:
"In assessing Mrs. Norvill's evidence, I am also on the People are aware that the allegations of sexual assault or sexual harassment are often held in a particularly vulnerable position and can face unique and difficult challenges in evidence.
"Lack of affirmation is also a common feature of cases of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is often secretive and does not occur in public. Many of these considerations relate to the circumstances of Ms. Norvill. I have considered them …
"However, the evidence has a number of aspects that pose significant problems in terms of its credibility as a witness."
Some Extracts from the Wigney ruling on the credibility of witnesses.
Rush : "Mr. Rush was for the most part an impressive witness. Nothing in his behavior indicated that he was doing anything other than accurately and honestly presenting the relevant events and circumstances.
Neil Armfield : "Mr. Armfield was an impressive witness. There was no problem in terms of his credibility as a witness or the reliability of his evidence in general.
"Despite his apparently close friendship with Mr. Rush, I believe he has provided honest, honest, and reliable evidence for the facts and circumstances relevant to the allegations. Nationwide and Mr. Moran have not stated otherwise.
Helen Buday : "Ms. Buday was, at least in some ways, a unique, if not unusual, witness. To give an example, she sang the answer to a question more than once. She was also a difficult witness at times. She was sometimes unnecessarily disrespectful to Nationwide and Mr. Moran's senior attorneys.
"[But] I see no reason why their evidence should not be accepted as reliable. Nationwide and Mr. Moran have in the end made no statements regarding the credibility of Ms. Buday as a witness. "