Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush on Thursday won a defamation case against an Australian tabloid that reported about his inappropriate behaviour toward an actress.
Justice Michael Wigney said in a federal court here that Daily Telegraph newspaper had been "extravagant and reckless" in reporting that Rush abused a co-star Eryn Jean Norvill during a 2015 stage production of "King Lear", reports hollywoodreporter.com
"This was a recklessly irresponsible piece of sensational journalism of the worst kind," the judge said.
Rush won more than $600,000 in damages from the newspaper and he could be awarded a much larger sum in a follow-up hearing on May 10.
In a trial that lasted 13 days in late 2018, the "Shine" star sued the tabloid published here by News Corp., after front page articles in 2017 alleged he engaged in inappropriate behaviour towards an unnamed actress while in rehearsals and on stage in a Sydney Theatre company production of "King Lear" in 2015 and 2016.
After the court appearance, Rush told the media that there are "no winners in this case. It was extremely distressing for everyone involved".
Rush's legal team said the newspaper had implied he is a "pervert, a sexual predator and committed sexual assault". Those imputations were central to the judges decision, with Rush able to prove these implications were conveyed by the articles but were not true.