Daily Telegraph appeals Geoffrey Rush defamation judgment

The Daily Telegraph has launched an appeal after Geoffrey Rush won his defamation case against the News Corp publication last month.

The Telegraph’s publisher, Nationwide News, is claiming the judge who presided over the matter could have been biased.

Rush and Norvill starring in King Lear

Nationwide News, as well as journalist Jonathon Moran, filed the notice of appeal in the Federal Court on 1 May.

Both Moran and Nationwide are being represented by top-tier law firm, Ashurst.

Last month, The Daily Telegraph was ordered to pay Rush $850,000 of ‘aggravated damages’, with a further special damages hearing scheduled for this week that could drive the figure up to millions of dollars. The court stated that these extra damages account for the fact that Rush was likely to lose 50% of his potential earnings over the next 18 months, and 25% over the following six months.

In his judgment, Justice Michael Wigney stated that The Daily Telegraph was “recklessly irresponsible”.

“This was, in all circumstances, a recklessly irresponsible piece of sensationalist journalism of the worst kind,” he said.

Eryn Jean Norvill, who gave evidence against co-star Rush

The parties will be in court again on Friday to make submissions regarding further damages to compensate Rush for economic loss. Once the economic loss has been calculated, and a decision on damages made, Rush could receive the biggest defamation payout in Australia’s history.


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