Elaine Stead and Joe Aston (Images: Supplied)

For the past two months The Australian Financial Review's Joe Aston has occupied a deeply uncomfortable role for a gossip columnist; he has become the story.

His media rivals have been gleefully reporting his defamation suit at the hands of one of his victims, venture capitalist Elaine Stead. This morning the judgement came down -- Justice Michael Lee ruled in Stead's favour, awarding $280,000 in aggravated damages.

The trial resulted from two pieces and a tweet in which Aston called Stead a "stupid cretin" and accused her of acting like a "pyromaniac" with other people's money.