Friday, May 24, 2024

Victorious: Oscar Winner Geoffrey Rush Wins $850K from Murdoch Owned Australian Newspaper That Dubbed Him “King Leer”


Geoffrey Rush, Oscar winner for the movie “Shine” and beloved actor all over the world, was slimed by Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspaper, The Guardian.

Rush has won $850,000 from News Corp., Murdoch’s company, for articles in which he was described as “King Leer” for letting an actress call him “a pervert”, “a sexual predator” and “committed sexual assault in a theatre” during a production of King Lear in 2015-16.

The article in The Guardian was published at the end of 2017, when the #MeToo movement had broken wide and accusations of sexual misconduct were suddenly being aimed to every famous man in the world.

Justice Michael Wigney handed down his judgment after the Academy Award-winner sued The Daily Telegraph and its journalist Jonathon Moran over the claims.

Wigney said the actress, Eryn Jean Norvill, was “prone to exaggeration and embellishment,” and had been “contradicted” by the director, Neil Armfield, and cast members Robyn Nevin and Helen Buday.
Wigney awarded Rush aggravated damages because of the Telegraph’s poor journalistic conduct, calling it “a recklessly irresponsible piece of sensationalist journalism of the worst kind.”

In a Murdoch newspaper? Unbelievable!

Rush will get more in damages, too, from News Corp for lost wages and damage to his career. Rush had sued the paper and the writer of the article– I won’t call him a journalist– Jonathon Moran. Wigney ruled News Corp’s Nationwide News, the publisher of the Daily Telegraph, “did not make out their truth defense” in fighting the suit. The judge said the actress and a fellow actor had been dragged into the story by Moran, and nothing they said could be corroborated.

I’ve known Geoffrey Rush for more than 20 years. The whole thing seemed like a hoax and fake news. Many congrats to him. Let’s hope we see him back in the US in movies and plays as soon as possible!

What a nice for Murdoch to start his new company!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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