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Geoffrey Rush wins sexual harassment defamation suit

Press Trust of India  |  Los Angeles 

Geoffery Rush, who sued in a suit, emerged victorious, winning a minimum of USD 610,000 in damages from the Australian

alleged the had engaged in inappropriate behaviour towards co-star Eryn during a production of "Lear" in 2015 and 2016.

"(There are) no winners in this case. It was extremely distressing for everyone involved," Rush told reporters, adding he would make no further comment.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Justice said on Thursday that had defamed the Australian and not proved its truth defence.

Justice Wigney chastised Corp's Sydney-based newspaper and over reports that accused Rush, 67, of inappropriate behaviour towards Norvill.

"This was, in all the circumstances, a recklessly irresponsible piece of sensationalist journalism of the very worst kind. It was difficult to avoid the conclusion that it was calculated to damage," the said.

He said and failed to adequately research the stories before they published.

Justice Wigney said that Rush's accuser, Norvill was not a "credible or reliable witness and was "prone to exaggeration and embellishment".

Initially, he introduced his findings saying the case, which had evolved against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, was "sad and unfortunate".

Rush's legal team said the newspaper had implied he is a "pervert", a "sexual predator" and "committed sexual assault". He had Rush denied any wrongdoing and described the accusations as "slurs" and "hyperbole".

Those imputations were central to the judge's decision, with winner able to prove these implications were conveyed by the articles but were not true.

During the trial, Norvill alleged that Rush made "groping gestures in the air with two cupped hands" that simulated "fondling" her breasts during rehearsals.

The trial lasted 13 days late last year.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 12:40 IST