Rush, 67, sued The Daily Telegraph’s publisher and journalist Jonathon Moran for the two articles and poster published in 2017 that claimed the Oscar winner behaved inappropriately towards actress Eryn Jean Norvill during their production of King Lear for the Sydney Theatre Company in 2015 and 2016.
At the time, a rep for the Sydney Theatre Company said they “received a complaint” about Rush’s alleged behavior, but the actor denied the allegations.
Per the AP, Norvill testified on behalf of the newspaper, though she did not speak with The Daily Telegraph before the articles were published. The actress, 34, said that Rush stroked his hand against her right breast and on to her hip while she played dead during a preview performance. Rush denied any intentional misconduct on his part and Australian Federal Court Justice Michael Wigney said he did not find Norvill’s evidence to be “credible or reliable.”
Wigney said of The Daily Telegraph, “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.”
CNN noted that Rush’s legal team argued he may have lost more than $3.5 million since The Daily Telegraph published the articles. Rush was awarded 850,000 Australian dollars (approximately $610,000) in damages, but Wigney is set to determine economic loss and costs on May 10, so Rush could potentially win much more.
“I never wanted these issues dealt with by a court,” Norvill, who stands by her evidence, said outside of court. “This case has caused hurt for everyone. There are no winners, only losers.”
“We need to make genuine, cultural change in our professions and industries,” she added. “We can do it, but only if we acknowledge and confront with honesty the problems and the complexities of the power imbalances in our workplaces.”
A rep for Rush said the actor will not be issuing a statement at this time.