geoffrey rush
Geoffrey Rush (Image: AAP/Bianca De Marchi)

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has lost its epic legal battle against actor Geoffrey Rush, with a blistering judgement from the full bench of the Federal Court rejecting its appeal over last year's defamation finding and upholding a record defamation payout of $2.9 million. 

Today’s judgement comes almost three years after The Daily Telegraph published its now infamous "King Leer" front page, and brings to an end one of the most high stakes defamation trials in Australian history -- a battle between a media giant and a Hollywood icon, and one that turned Australia’s Me Too movement on its head. 

On Thursday, the court said it stood by the judgement that found the Telegraph’s two 2017 front-page stories accusing the actor of inappropriate behaviour implied Rush was a “pervert”, and rejected News’ argument that the judge had erred in finding that actress Eryn Jean Norvill gave unreliable evidence.