Judge Rejects Bid To Call 'Witness X' In Geoffrey Rush Trial
It's had plenty of blockbuster moments. But on Tuesday the Geoffrey Rush trial had a last minute application to hear from one more person, known only as "witness X."
Justice Michael Wigney refused to let The Daily Telegraph amend its defence and call the new witness -- whose identity is suppressed -- as part of the trial in Sydney's Federal Court.
The judge stressed if the application was successful, the trial would have to be adjourned until at least April 2019 and Rush would almost inevitably have to get back in the witness box.
"Nationwide News and (journalist) Mr Moran's defence to the claim has been, to say the very least, a movable feast," Justice Wigney said.
"It has been fraught with difficulties that has inevitably led to delays and prejudices to Mr Rush."
The judge said these were entirely new allegations concerning Rush's conduct by a prospective new witness.
"The particulars do not involve the production of King Lear... Erin Jean Norville... or The Sydney Theatre Company.
"They involve incidents that are alleged to have occurred many years before 2016."
The judge pointed out Mr Rush's counsel had repeatedly pushed to expedite proceedings, citing ongoing harm to the Hollywood star.
"My observations of Mr Rush and his wife ...they have been under tremendous stress," he said.
"The process of giving evidence took a great emotional and physical toll on them."
He said Nationwide News and Mr Moran had frustrated proceedings. Conduct, the judge described today as unsatisfactory.
"Mr Rush's claim has remained consistent since the day it was filed. There has been no amendment by him."