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Actor Geoffrey Rush wins $2M in #MeToo-related defamation suit

Actor Geoffrey Rush was reportedly awarded a record amount in his defamation suit against an Australian newspaper that accused him of engaging in "inappropriate behavior" toward an actress. 

Justice Michael Wigney ordered The Daily Telegraph in Sydney to pay Rush 2.9 million Australian dollars, about $2 million, The Guardian reported Thursday. 

The amount is the most any one person has been awarded in a defamation suit in Australia, The Guardian added.

Wigney reportedly determined in April that The Daily Telegraph had defamed Rush by accusing him of inappropriate behavior toward actress Eryn Jean Norvill while they worked on a performance of "King Lear."

The judge decried The Daily Telegraph's reports as "in all the circumstances, a recklessly irresponsible piece of sensationalist journalism of the worst kind," according to The Guardian.

News Corp. Australia, which publishes The Daily Telegraph, is appealing Wigney's ruling, The Guardian reported. The corporation claimed that the judge's handling of the case "gave rise to an apprehension of bias," the British newspaper added.

Tom Blackburn, The Daily Telegraph's lawyer, told The Guardian that the ruling was a "blunt instrument" that would create "a chilling effect on future reporting of an issue which is of enormous significance and importance, which I can conveniently refer to as 'me too.' "

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