Geoffrey Rush To Receive Almost $2.9 Million After Defamation Case

Geoffrey Rush

Australian actor Geoffrey Rush will receive a total of almost $2.9 million in damages from the Daily Telegraph after they published articles, alleging he acted inappropriately towards a female actor.

The Telegraph has agreed to pay Rush more than $1 million for past economic loss and $919,678 in future loss of wages, the ABC reports. This comes on top of the $850,000 in damages plus $42,000 in interest, the actor was awarded in April’s ruling against the newspaper.

The $2.87 million total is the largest defamation payout awarded to a single person in Australia.

Last month, Justice Michael Wigney ruled that the Telegraph defamed Rush by alleging he acted inappropriately towards his King Lear co-star Eryn Jean Norvill. The original front-page story, with headline ‘King Leer’, ran in November of 2017, and reported the Sydney Theatre Company had received an anonymous complaint about the actor during its 2015-2016 season of King Lear. Follow-up articles were published the next day.

Justice Wigney found the paper had released a “recklessly irresponsible piece of sensationalist journalism of the worst kind. The very worst kind.” 

Rush’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou said there had been an initial offer in early 2018 to settle for $50,000 and an apology. Nationwide News, the publisher of the paper, moved forward with a truth defence against the lawsuit instead.

News Corp Australia spokesperson told 9News: We have no comment, but remind you that The Daily Telegraph has filed an appeal and the process continues.”