Geoffrey Rush wins Defamation suit over NewsCorpse

Damages being determined now.

Now onto damages and the payout to Rush.

Wigney says there are three elements:

  • How much to compensate Rush for the hurt to his reputation
  • Whether he was entitled to aggravated damages, due to any potential improper conduct by the Telegraph
  • Whether he suffered economic loss due to the articles

Rush wins aggravated damages

Wigney says Rush is entitled to aggravated damages, because the conduct of the Telegraph was “improper and unjustified”. He says the articles were “extravagent and sensationalist”.

He says they were “reckless as to the truth” of what they published, and they did not properly inquire to check if they were true.

“This was a recklessly irresponsible piece of sensational journalism of the worst kind,” he says.

Without aggravated damages, there is a cap for damages of just under $400,000. But now that aggravated damages are awarded, the amount given to Rush can be higher.

Wigney says Rush’s hurt and injury was then increased by the second article published as follow-up.

Wigney says the amount should be $850,000, just for the hurt to his reputation. There could be more for the economic loss from lost jobs.

“He unquestionably had a high and settled reputation not only in Australia but around the world”, Wigney says.

He said the articles were read widely, around the world. Thus he awards $850,000.

Wigney also says Rush is entitled to compensation for the economic opportunities due – but he doesn’t yet know how much.

He says he thinks Rush did lose acting opportunities. “He lost the desire to act, his creative spirit was at a low ebb, he was fearful of audience reaction.”

“He was unlikely to receive any real offers of work at least until 12 months after the vindication of his reputation of this judgment”.

Wigney also says Rush’s salary will probably be lower than previously, for any jobs he does get, until 18 months from now.

But he wants to discuss this further with both parties to judge this amount.

Wigney is now wrapping up. He tells the court that people should read his judgment before they begin their critique.

“Before you judge my judgment, as you are entitled to do, I ask that you read my judgment, so you can fully appreciate the reasons,” he says.

There will be a case management hearing on 10 May to figure out further details.

And Wigney adjourns the c

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Judged slammed the newspaper and the defendant.

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What defendant? It wasn’t a criminal case.

You know who smartalec.

I actually don’t. I thought you might have meant the newspaper but you already said them. I haven’t read any coverage

The judge said the female actor, Eryn Norvill, wasn’t particularly believable…and News Corp were just being News Corp. deadset Reg Hunts.


The whole thing is sad for both Rush and Norvill, and shows journalism at its absolute worst.

Norvill, some considerable time after the alleged events, made what she intended to be, and was supposed to be, a confidential complaint to the Sydney Theatre Company. The complaint was that Rush had acted “inappropriately”. She said he had done nothing more than was commonplace in that setting and nobody else thought that it was remarkable in any way, but she felt it was demeaning and sexist, and if what she said was true then it was probably both those things. It wasn’t rape, it wasn’t assault, and it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary; what she was saying, basically, is that it shouldn’t have been done and, more importantly, it shouldn’t have been regarded as normal.

What should have happened was that the complaint was dealt with internally by the STC, where it would either have been dismissed or upheld, and, if it had been upheld, Rush would have been counselled and asked to apologise and he would have done so. And maybe the way everyone behaved in the theatrical world might have started to change a little bit.

But somebody (we don’t know who and never will; Norvill’s version of Linda Tripp perhaps) couldn’t resist the temptation to tell someone else. And it got to our heroes of the press, champions of free speech and the public’s right to know. Who, in their usual impartial, dispassionate manner, printed an article under the heading “King Leer” and described Rush as a pervert and a sexual predator. Which is not what Norvill alleged, and was in fact a complete lie.

So Rush sued. And he’s won, and he deserved to win, and I hope that the Daily Telegraph are ordered to pay many millions of dollars in damages.

No matter how much Rush is awarded, he’s a loser out of this. He was an international star with a reputation as high as anyone’s could be. As a result of this, he’s not either of those things now and he never will be again.

And Erin Norvill is a loser, but possibly not as big a loser as Geoffrey Rush. The judge didn’t believe her, but she’ll be believed by many. She should have stayed right out of this case. Whoever advised her to appear on behalf of the Telegraph deserves to be shot.

It’s a sad, sad case.


I have only seen extracts of the judge’s summing up, but it gave the appearance that he was in awe of the big stars of the theatre and film industry in his acceptance of their testimony over hers and the other actor. He also seemed to suggest that different standards might apply in the theatre world.
I’d agree that she should not have been encouraged to appear as a witness. As to the judge’s views of what he saw as exaggeration, I’ve heard this before when witnesses are coached to embellish the facts.
That said, the Telegraph deserves to be taken to the cleaners.

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Did she have a choice? I would have thought she would have been summonsed to appear. Thus compelled to testify.

Does that apply in a civil case, which I assume this was?

Who post in this thread a minute after tippa kicks 7 goals (yes I know I’m posting in it)


I came in to say that anybody who doesn’t give Tippa 3 won’t have their vote counted and a request to ban them from the forum (and the electoral roll) made.

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She could have been subpoenaed by the defence, but they would never subpoena someone who wasn’t giving evidence willingly. They wouldn’t know what she was going to say.

He also drew attention to the fact that she changed her story in several significant respects (eg she had said he followed her into the Ladies, then admitted he didn’t), she was forced to admit that she was wrong on several other matters, she was sending him him exactly the same sort of playful/flirtatious texts after the alleged event as before, she had said she was uncomfortable when he turned up to her party when in fact she invited him, and several other things as well. Plus the fact that the alleged incidents occurred in public, in full view of a number of other people only one of whom partly corroborated her, while the others all contradicted her.


The mantle of “Barbados Thruster” surely has to be handed to “tippa” now after his 7" went inside brisbanes 50. .

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Lawyers going for brokes for their Telegraph clients at her expense.

Did he quote King Lear as well?