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Australia Actor Geoffrey Rush back in court over defamation appeal

04:10  04 november  2019
04:10  04 november  2019 Source:   9news.com.au

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Actor Geoffrey Rush has been awarded the largest ever defamation payout to a single person in Australia. Mr Rush has sought an injunction to prevent the Telegraph re-publishing accusations at the heart The accusations detailed in the Telegraph article "King Leer" date back to a 2015 theatre

There's a major development in the Daily Telegraph's appeal of the record defamation payout to Oscar winning actor Geoffrey Rush .

Geoffrey Rush wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Actor Geoffrey Rush is back in court over his defamation case.© Nine Actor Geoffrey Rush is back in court over his defamation case. Three Federal Court judges have today begun hearing an appeal by Nationwide News against a finding it defamed actor Geoffrey Rush and against his damages award of $2.9 million.

Justice Michael Wigney in April found the Daily Telegraph's publisher and journalist Jonathon Moran were reckless regarding the truth when they reported Rush had been accused of inappropriate behaviour during a Sydney theatre production of King Lear.

The judge ruled a poster and two articles contained several defamatory meanings - including that Rush was a pervert and a sexual predator - and the publisher hadn't proved they were true.

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Rush was subsequently awarded $2.9 million in damages plus interest to account for his past and future economic loss.

The appeal by Nationwide News lists 20 grounds including that Justice Wigney's conduct "gave rise to an apprehension of bias".

The company contends this is supported through "repeated references" to The Telegraph, Moran and the publications by Justice Wigney - orally and in written judgments - in derogatory terms.

It previously sought access to audio records from the hearing, to illustrate "the tone" used by the judge when making his remarks.

The appeal in the Federal Court in Sydney is before Justices Richard White, Jacqueline Gleeson and Michael Wheelahan.

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