ABC’s legal bill for Christian Porter defamation case revealed

The ABC’s managing director David Anderson has advised a Senate Estimates Committee that the legal costs to date to defend defamation claims by former Attorney General Christian Porter, have totalled close to $800,000.

Anderson advised the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee that the ABC has accrued to date $680,000 in legal costs, in addition to $100,000 on mediation and related costs paid to Porter’s legal advisers.

There was also a split costs between the two parties of $31,000 for the mediator and mediation venue.

Anderson also confirmed to the senators that “the matter is settled” and that as a result of the deed of the settlement, certain details can not be disclosed due to confidentiality clauses within the settlement.

He added: “We [the ABC] have not paid damages as part of the settlement. We don’t regret publishing the article in the first place.”

It was also revealed that Porter had made two without prejudice offers for settlement prior to the mediation.

Anderson said that the mediation was a way for both parties to proceed while minimising potential costs, which could have been between $1-$1.5 million in legal fees had the case proceeded to court.

An editor’s note has been added to the initial article, ‘Scott Morrison, senators and AFP told of historical rape allegation against Cabinet Minister’ published on 26 February 2021,  that led to the defamation claims against the ABC by Porter.


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