On Thursday, the court of the federal court upheld the 2019 ruling that the articles portrayed the actor as a sexual predator and “perverse” in the details of its behavior against a co-star during the 2015-16 performance of the Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear.
One of the Daily Telegraph articles of the court has been found to be defamatory included the title “the King Read,” below is a photo of Rush.
While the report did not name the alleged victim, Eryn Jean Norvill, who played the role of Cordelia (the daughter of Rush, King Lear), later gave evidence at his trial for libel, telling the court Rush had deliberately touched her breast at a concert without his consent.
Rush has denied the allegations.Ben English, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph, said he was “very disappointed” by Thursday’s decision, warning that the outcome of the case and the appeal “exposes the inadequacies of Australia, the laws on defamation and accentuates the urgent need for a legislative reform order to permit a public debate and to encourage women to come forward with their concerns.”
In addition to agree with the judgment that all of the defamatory charges claimed by Rush’s lawyers have been conveyed by the news reports, and that the Daily Telegraph had failed to demonstrate that the allegations were true, the Thursday of the decision of appeal also found damages in the amount of $2,872,753 be attributed to Rush was an “optimistic” calculation, because of “the ferocity and the unrefined responses to the #MeToo movement”.
The amount, which has examined how Rush tarnish his reputation would be to restrict the future work for him, consisting of “non-economic loss including aggravated damages” of $ 850,000, “in the past, the economic losses, including prior to the judgment interest” of $1,060,773, “the economic future of the loss” of $919,678 and “pre-judgment interest on the non-economic loss” of $42,302.
While the Daily Telegraph stated that these estimates were “manifestly excessive”, and do not think that it would take two years after the initial verdict of defamation before the Rush is “earning capacity” would be restored, the court rejected these allegations.
In spite of the rejection of the appeal, the judges Jacqueline Gleeson, Richard White and Michael Wheelahan has been agreed with the elements of the Daily Telegraph, the call of submission, that the judge who presided at the original defamation trial, Michael Wigney, “attached significance to the positive statements made” by Norvill on Rush in the promotion interviews for King Lear.
Wigney had said that the positive comments of the Norvill, that Rush was “just for the always playful” and “very cheeky”, has undermined the evidence she gave as testimony of his inappropriate behaviour during the test.
“In this context, it would have been natural for Ms Norvill to make positive statements on stage with him, whatever his private feelings,” on Thursday, the judgment said.
“From our point of view, Ms Norvill in the framework of the interviews was also consistent with the fact that the conduct she described had taken place, but with her deleting it or subordinating it to his own personal feelings of the company’s interest in the promotion of the performance of King Lear,” the judges wrote.
But they went on to note that “there were a lot of other evidence … that indicated that there was a positive relationship between” the two, in the lead-up to production, including stories of other actors who have given evidence at the trial.
The judges also said that they don’t think Wigney had based its conclusion on Norvill the observations made in the course of the promotion interviews.
The appeal judges also agreed with Wigney of the decision of rejection of the Daily Telegraph request to include evidence of the actor Yael Stone at the original trial, which accused the Rush of harassment, while working on another production.
English, which has not been the editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph, when the articles were published in 2017, has also said that he had hoped, the court would “reverse the Justice Wigney conclusions about the credibility of Eryn Jean Norvill, or conversely to His Honour the decision to exclude the testimony of Yael Stone”.
“We support the two women in their decision to share their complaints,” the englishman said.
“We will continue to report on problems such as those that are of great concern to the Australian public. As stated by the Head of the High Court of Justice Susan Kiefel last week, there is no place for sexual harassment in any workplace.”