The defamation case against YouTuber Jordan Shanks (aka FriendlyJordies) by former NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has come to a close, after Barilaro agreed to settle the high-profile case and Shanks formally apologised and paid court costs of $100,000.
Per the Sydney Morning Herald, an apology was read out in Federal Court on Friday morning by Shanks’ barrister, Matt Collins QC, who also noted that the videos posted to Shanks’ YouTube account were “an important part of freedom of expression for political communication”.
“Mr Shanks accepts that some of the videos he posted were offensive to Mr Barilaro,” he said.
“Mr Shanks understands that Mr Barilaro has been hurt, and apologises to him for that hurt.”
The statement from Shanks was also posted to the FriendlyJordies social media on Friday morning, confirming that the offending videos will remain on the YouTuber’s account, but any merchandise depicting the former Deputy Premier will be removed from the FriendlyJordies webstore.
— 💧friendlyjordies (@friendlyjordies) November 4, 2021
Collins also said that Shanks will “not be paying a cent in damages” to Barilaro. However the YouTuber has had to pay $100,000 in legal costs, as well as edit the two videos, and not publish claims about Barilaro’s private life again in the future.
Per the SMH, the court costs paid by Shanks are related to his failed bid to have the trial face a jury, and a preliminary hearing that he had dismissed in August.
Barilaro initially filed the defamation case against Shanks back in May, after alleging that two FriendlyJordies videos were a “vile and racist attack” on his heritage, and brought his reputation into public disrepute.
Kristos Langker, the producer for FriendlyJordies, is still due to face trial after being arrested and charged with allegedly stalking and intimidating Barilaro in June 2021, and it’s expected his trial will commence sometime around May 2022.