Actor Craig McLachlan has discontinued his defamation proceedings in opposition to the ABC, 9 Newspapers and Christie Whelan Browne on the day the defence case was set to start.
- McLachlan claimed tales revealed in 2018 defamed him and successfully ended his appearing profession
- The ABC, 9 and former solid mate Christie Whelan Browne have been about to start out calling defence witnesses
- The listening to had run for 9 days already
The previous Neighbours star pays the defendants’ court docket prices after abandoning the listening to on its tenth day.
McLachlan had sued within the NSW Supreme Courtroom in 2018 over a media investigation detailing allegations of inappropriate behaviour in the course of the 2014 tour of The Rocky Horror Present.
The experiences, aired on the ABC’s 7.30 program and revealed within the Sydney Morning Herald, alleged the now 56-year-old had indecently assaulted, bullied, harassed and uncovered himself to feminine solid members.
McLachlan denied the claims and stated that they had ended his appearing profession.
On Friday, Appearing Justice Carolyn Simpson granted McLachan’s software to hunt go away to finish the proceedings.
Appearing Justice Simpson discharged the jury, thanking them for his or her service over the previous two weeks.
“Mr McLachlan has decided not to proceed any further with either of these cases,” she stated.
“That means the case is brought to an end, it’s finished.”
In a press release, ABC Information Director Justin Stevens stated it was a “tremendous result for the women who were brave enough to come forward and tell their stories, particularly Christie Whelan Browne”.
“Eleven women came forward to give evidence against McLachlan,” Mr Stevens stated.
“They would not be silenced. It is crucial that defamation laws also not be used to silence the media in reporting accurately and with integrity on matters of public interest.
“The ABC stands by its journalism. It stands by the ladies who got here ahead. It stands by Christie Whelan Browne.”
In a statement, McLachlan said: “I can not proceed to position my household underneath that pressure, and my very own psychological well being is not going to face up to the persevering with strain.”
“Ending the case now will lastly deliver to an finish the 4 years we’ve got endured because the publications have been first made, in addition to avoiding the necessity for different witnesses to should endure the cross-examination course of.”
Marina Olsen, Ms Whelan Browne’s lawyer, read a statement on behalf of her client outside court saying she had suffered abuse and threats since coming forward in 2018.
Through Ms Olsen, the actor said she and her colleagues felt they had no option but to speak to the media after their complaints about McLachlan fell on deaf ears.
“My title was dragged by means of the mud and my character and personal behaviour was exaggerated and referred to as into query,” she said.
“I’ve misplaced my feeling of security on the planet figuring out somebody wished so badly to wreck me for merely talking the reality.
“I am pleased this claim has been withdrawn and I look forward to moving on with my life.
“I hope this can be a reminder that girls will rise up for themselves and one another, even when threatened by any person extra highly effective.”
Jurors had heard nine days of evidence, which included testimony by McLachlan, his partner Vanessa Scammell, and friends.
In his opening address, McLachlan’s barrister Kieran Smark SC said his client was the victim of a “double-pronged assault … by two highly effective media organisations”.
The ABC, Nine and Whelan Browne defended the stories as true and were set to call their first witnesses.
The court had been told by the defendants’ barrister, Michael Hodge QC, that 11 women who worked with McLachlan during various productions would testify about his inappropriate behaviour.
Mr Hodge told the jury three colleagues from The Rocky Horror Show, would testify about alleged indecent touching and kissing during a bedroom scene.
It was alleged this behaviour was not a part of the present or agreed upon by the opposite actors.
McLachlan gave evidence over several days, saying there was a playful atmosphere on set where theatrical but platonic hugs and kisses were common.
The actor said he enjoyed a jovial relationship with many of his colleagues and denied allegations of bullying.
McLachlan claimed the media reporting damaged his reputation and caused him to be admitted into a mental health facility in 2018.
Mr Hodge repeatedly accused McLachlan of lying in his evidence about behaviour on set, which the actor denied.
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