Daily Telegraph apologises to John Jarratt as defamation case settles

The Daily Telegraph has issued an apology to John Jarratt as part of settling the actor’s defamation case against the newspaper.

“Some readers may have believed that an article published on July 7 titled “Jarratt accuser ‘broken’” implied that the actor John Jarratt was guilty of an offence,” the apology, published yesterday, read. “This is incorrect. Mr Jarratt was fully acquitted of the charge after a unanimous ‘not guilty’ verdict by a 12-person jury in July. We apologise to Mr Jarratt for the hurt and embarrassment caused by the publication of the article.”

Jarratt’s Federal Court case against The Telegraph has settled

The article in question reported the reaction of the Wolf Creek star’s accuser after a District Court jury found him not guilty of raping a housemate in the 1970s.

Jarratt commenced defamation action in the Supreme Court against News Corp subsidiary and publisher of The Daily Telegraph, Nationwide News, over a front-page story concerning the allegations. The actor dropped this case after being criminally acquitted, but, in November, began a new case against the Telegraph in the Federal Court based on the newspaper’s reporting of the verdict.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that, in court documents, Jarratt argued the second, post-verdict story defamed him by implying he was “a rapist”, “got away with rape”, and “got away with ruining a woman’s life by sexually assaulting her”.

While the apology is public, other details of the settlement are confidential. Since the case has settled, a 30 January case management hearing will not go ahead.

It’s the second defamation settlement this month for the News Corp-owned newspaper. As Mumbrella reported last week, former Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang has also settled his defamation case against The Daily Telegraph after the Tele dubbed him “the smiling assassin”.

In May, The Daily Telegraph was ordered to pay Geoffrey Rush a record $2.87m in defamation damages, Australia’s highest defamation payout to a single person. The newspaper’s appeal of that decision is still underway.


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