Publisher apologises to defamed Doctor as part of confidential settlement

On 3 July 2023, Bromwich J, in the Federal Court of Australia, noted an apology from HarperCollins Publishers Australia Pty Limited to Dr John Gill for publishing the book “Fair Game: The Incredible Untold Story of Scientology in Australia” in making orders resolving long running defamation proceedings Dr Gill brought against the publishers of the book.

Last year, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia (Rares, Wigney and Lee JJ) entered judgment (Herron v HarperCollins Publishers Australia Pty Ltd (No 2) [2022] FCAFC 119) in defamation in favour of Dr Gill against the publishers in respect of the book.  The High Court of Australia dismissed an application from HarperCollins Publishers Australia and the writer of the book earlier this year seeking leave to appeal an earlier judgment and that judgment: HarperCollins Publishers Australia Pty Ltd & Anor v Gill & Ors [2023] HCATrans 14.

Bromwich J in concluding the proceedings also permanently restrained the writer of the book from publishing the defamatory imputations the Full Court found the book carried, and noted the judgment the Full Court entered in Dr Gill’s favour and that the proceedings had otherwise settled on confidential terms.

Sue Chrysanthou SC and Barry Dean, from 153 Phillip, appeared as counsel in the Federal Court at trial and on remittal and also appeared before the Full Court and High Court.

 

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Publisher apologises to defamed Doctor as part of confidential settlement