ben roberts smith kerry stokes
Ben Roberts-Smith and Kerry Stokes. (Images: AAP/Lukas Coch)

One of
the truisms of defamation actions is to avoid getting into court if there are
skeletons in the closet.

In those circumstances, the best advice is generally to not sue because the process is expensive and intrusive and can destroy reputations, particularly if the media organisation decides to take you on by pleading a truth defence.

Actor Geoffrey Rush won his defamation battle against News Corp, but if he had his time again he probably wouldn’t have prosecuted the fight given the mud that was thrown.