Christian Porter Discontinues ABC Defamation Case, And Won’t Be Paid A Cent In Damages

"I stand by my journalism & proud to work @4corners & grateful to the ABC & our brilliant legal team for supporting public interest journalism," journalist Louise Milligan said.

Christian Porter Defamation

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Former Attorney-General Christian Porter has discontinued a defamation case against the ABC over historical sexual assault allegations, agreeing on a settlement out-of-court.

Content Warning: This article contains discussion of sexual assault and suicide.

In a statement, the ABC said that both parties agreed to not pursue the matter further. The national broadcaster will not have to pay damages or issue an apology, but will pay mediation costs.

“The ABC stands by the importance of the article, which reported on matters of significant public interest, and the article remains online,” the statement read.

The story has since been updated with an editor’s note that states the “ABC did not intend to suggest that Mr Porter had committed the criminal offences alleged.”

“However, both parties accept that some readers misinterpreted the article as an accusation of guilt against Mr Porter. That reading, which was not intended by the ABC, is regrettable,” the editor’s note stated.

Investigative journalist Louise Milligan had reported for Four Corners in February a story about a rape allegation of a minor in 1998, by a now-serving Cabinet Minister. Porter was not named in the article or broadcast.

He identified himself as the person alleged in Milligan’s coverage on March 3 while vehemently denying the claims, then was demoted from his Cabinet position on March 29.

The woman at the centre of the story was 16-years-old at the time, and sadly committed suicide last year.

Australia is known as the defamation capital of the world — a title that proved damning during the #MeToo movement.

You can read the original article here.