Decision Looms: Geoffrey Rush To Learn If The Daily Telegraph Defamed Him
After five months of deliberation, the verdict in the defamation battle between Geoffrey Rush and the publisher of the Daily Telegraph will be handed down at 2pm.
The Sydney courtroom is expected to be packed.
Rush, 67, sued the newspaper over a series of articles and posters which contained allegations of inappropriate behaviour. They accused the Oscar-winning actor of harassing a then unnamed actress, during a 2015-16 production of King Lear at the Sydney Theatre Company --claims Rush strongly denies.
During the trial the actress, later revealed as Eryn-Jean Norvill, told the court the Hollywood heavyweight touched her breast and lower back.
Norvill also testified that Rush was inappropriate during rehearsals, licking his lips and grunting.
The publisher of the Daily Telegraph, Nationwide News, is urging Justice Wigney to believe Norvill, who had wanted no part in the original story.
The star-studded trial also heard from famous agents, actors Judy Davis and Robyn Nevin, and Rush himself – with the Pirates of the Caribbean star seeking millions of dollars in damages.
When Rush was quizzed by the newspaper’s barrister Tom Blackburn SC, he denied groping Norvill’s breast but admitted he might have grazed it during the famous “death scene”.
When asked about the rehearsals he denied any wrong doing there,too.
“You said things to her like 'You’re looking very scrumptious today'?" Blackburn said to Rush.
“I don’t recall saying that but I might have, I was always in a chirpy mood,” Rush replied.
“You used the word yummy didn’t you?”
“Yes I might have. Yummy has a spirit to it,” Rush conceded.
At one-point Rush wiped away tears in the witness box as he described the scene at the centre of allegations he inappropriately touched his co-star.
“It’s not a scene you want to fake,” he said.
"I’d always imagined it was my own real-life daughter and she’d been hit by a bus. Every night I would reinvent that scene in my mind. I needed that trigger.”
His voice wavering as he wiped his face with a tissue.
Rush’s lawyers claimed he may never work again – he’ll find out on Thursday if the judge believed them and if he’ll be compensated.