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INTRODUCTION

This story is about reckless journalism.

About one desperate Murdoch newspaper that sacrificed tried and true practice to grab a scoop.

About the damage inflicted on two people, their families and friends by that scoop, the subsequent defamation trial and the newspaper’s failed appeal.

About how this reckless act set back the Me Too movement in Australia and tarnished an industry dedicated to telling the truth.

This story is not about judging the actions of Geoffrey Rush. Read the evidence we report here. Make up your own mind.

We are telling this story — in this way — to reveal what happens when journalism gets it wrong. Very wrong.

Welcome to Geoffrey Rush: Trial by Media

ACT 1:

Sniffing for a scoop

As the Me Too movement sweeps across the globe, a reporter from The Daily Telegraph starts hunting for a story...

ACT 2:

Publish and be damned

With Geoffrey Rush's lawyer threatening legal action, the team at The Daily Telegraph make the fateful decision about whether to publish...

ACT 3:

The double down

The Daily Telegraph's "world exclusive" about Rush landed with a splash. But doubt emerged from the very start...

ACT 4:

Enter the lawyers

Geoffrey Rush announces his intention to sue, leaving The Daily Telegraph scrambling to prepare its defence...

ACT 5:

The trial begins

'I went to jelly ... I felt as though someone had poured lead into my head.' Geoffrey Rush takes the stand as the trial gets underway...

ACT 6:

A star is torn

'You had been thinking of her more than is socially appropriate for some time?' News Corp's lawyer questions Geoffrey Rush as the trial continues...

ACT 7:

Witnesses for the plaintiff

High-profile witnesses take the stand, before the defence makes a shock submission...

ACT 8:

Cordelia

Eryn Jean Norvill takes the stand as the case reaches its climax...

ACT 9:

The judgment

Justice Wigney leaves no doubt as to his assessment of The Daily Telegraph's reporting or the credibility of the witnesses...

ACT 10:

The appeal

The Daily Telegraph's legal team delivers one final twist as the story comes to a close...

THE PODCAST:

Go inside the media trial of Geoffrey Rush in Inq’s companion podcast

Introducing the companion podcast to Inq's groundbreaking investigation, Geoffrey Rush: Trial by Media.

BEST PRACTICE:

Tabloid journalism may be cheeky and brash, but it must also be fair

The Geoffrey Rush case has shown us once again that all forms of media — from tabloid to broadsheet — must be rigorous, careful and committed to the truth.

DEFAMATION LAW:

After the Rush decision, one truth remains: the Tele deserved to lose

The Daily Telegraph's recklessness in reporting on Geoffrey Rush has caused incalculable harm.