Australian court confirms Geoffrey Rush on defamation of payment

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CORRECTS THE AMOUNT OF MILLIONS, NOT BILLION dollars – FILE – In this August. 2, 2012, photo file, Australian actor Geoffrey Rush arrives for the opening of Melbourne International Film Festival in Melbourne, Australia. An Australian court on Thursday, July 2, 2020, dismissed the editor of a newspaper appeal against the Oscar-winning actor Rush’s 2.9 million Australian dollars ($ 2 million) defamation payment. (AP Photo / Paul Jeffers, File)

CORRECTS THE AMOUNT OF MILLIONS, NOT BILLION dollars – FILE – In this August. 2, 2012, photo file, Australian actor Geoffrey Rush arrives for the opening of Melbourne International Film Festival in Melbourne, Australia. An Australian court on Thursday, July 2, 2020, dismissed the publisher of a newspaper appeal against the Oscar-winning actor Rush’s 2.9 million Australian dollars ($ 2 million) defamation payment. (AP Photo / Paul Jeffers, File)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – An Australian court denied Thursday of a newspaper publisher’s appeal against Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush’s 2.9 million Australian dollars ($ 2 million) defamation payment.

Three Federal Court judges ruled that articles published by the Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper in 2017 passed on the charge that Rush is a pervert and that the trial judge had correctly included the actor in the loss of earnings in the calculation of damages.

The Australian actor, who turns 69 on July 6, did not attend the Sydney court to hear the verdict.

News Corp belonging to the National News Appeal Judge Michael Wigney’s appeal from last year’s decision that Rush was defamed by the press saying he had been charged with improper behavior by the actor Eryn Jean Norvill. She played Rush’s daughter starring the character from Sydney’s theater production of “King Lear” in 2015 and 2016.

The publisher also appealed against the payment rush amount, including almost AU $ 2 million for the past and economic future of the loss, of two articles published in the newspaper and a billboard poster which Wigney found untruly portrayed as a pervert and a sexual predator.

David the English, the publisher’s newspaper, said he was disappointed with the court of appeal’s ruling which highlighted the need for Australia to change its defamation laws.

“The Case Rush highlights Australia’s shortcomings, defamation laws and highlights the urgent need for legislative reform to allow public debate and encourage women to come out of the before with their concerns, English told me in a statement.

“We will continue to report on issues such as those of great concern to the Australian public,” he added.

Lawyer Rush did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lawyer editor Tom Blackburn says two days of appeal hearing that trial judge “tinkered” with speculation and inference to find Rush was unable to work due to his condition of mind as a result of the publications and had fewer job offers since.

Actor lawyer Bret Walker replied that Rush testified about the devastating effects the publications had on his mental health, while other testimony heard during the trial supported the findings that he was unable to work and had fewer job offers.

Rush received the Oscar for Best Actor in 1996 for his portrait of pianist David Helfgott in “Shine” and was nominated for his roles in “Shakespeare In Love”, “Quills” and “The King’s Speech. “He is also famous for his portrait of Captain Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.

He received the most honorable Australian civilian awards in 2014, the Companion of the Order of Australia, for service in the arts.

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This story has been revised to correct the winnings to millions, not billions.

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