Geoffrey Rush To Receive Almost $2.9 Million After Defamation Case

Geoffrey Rush wins largest-ever Australia defamation payout

Geoffrey Rush wins largest-ever Australia defamation payout

Actor Geoffrey Rush has been awarded $1.9 million in a lawsuit he filed against Australia's Nationwide News, which published claims that he'd engaged in sexual misconduct against a young actress.

Though the original Daily Telegraph article published Rush's accuser as anonymous, she was later revealed to be actress Eryn Jean Norvill, who alleged that the Oscar victor "engaged in inappropriate behaviour" during a theater production of King Lear. He also ruled that the publisher failed to prove that there was any truth to these accusations.

Justice Wigney at the time awarded the Oscar-winner $850,000 in damages plus $42,302 interest for non-economic loss but wanted to further consider special damages for lost earnings, costs and interest.

The payout handed down on Thursday was to compensate Rush on financial losses as a result of the defamation, losses which the judge had ruled would continue in the future. Rush reportedly offered to settle the case previously for just $50,000 (US$34,369), plus legal costs and an apology from the newspaper. She played the daughter of Rush's character in a Sydney theater production of "King Lear" in 2015 and 2016.

According to the BBC, this is the "largest ever defamation payout to a single person in Australia".

"Orange Is the New Black" actress Yael Stone was revealed two weeks ago as the potential witness who Wigney refused to allow to testify in Rush's defamation suit.

Judge Michael Wigney said Norvill was "prone to exaggeration" and called the reporting a "recklessly irresponsible piece of sensationalist journalism of ... the very worst kind".

She said Nationwide News didn't respond.

She said Rush danced naked in front of her in their dressing room, used a mirror to watch her while she showered and sent her occasionally erotic texts. "This, most certainly, has never been my intention", Rush said at the time.

If this appeal is upheld, Rush's win would be overturned, including the entire damages figure. He is also famed for his portrayal of Captain Barbossa in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films.

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