Rainsy fined $1m for defamation
Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy, currently in exile in France, was found guilty of defamation by Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday and ordered to pay a fine of about $1 million.
Mr Rainsy said he would be able to prove the authenticity of a leaked conversation between Prime Minister Hun Sen and former CNRP turned CPP activist Thy Sovantha, in which the premier allegedly bribed Ms Sovantha to attack the opposition.
Mr Rainsy posted on social media that he welcomes the verdict, because it would give him the opportunity to reveal more facts about Mr Hun Sen.
He added the court ordered him to pay $1 million to the Prime Minister in compensation for allegedly defaming him by reposting Facebook documents showing correspondence between Mr Hun Sen and Ms Sovantha.
Mr Hun Sen allegedly offered the young CNRP activist $1 million for her to conduct activities against the opposition party in early 2017.
“I am confident we will be able to technically prove the authenticity of the leaked conversation between Hun Sen and Thy Sovantha,” Mr Rainsy said. “There are more than 400 leaked messages between the two that have been publicly exposed.”
The former opposition leader added that if someone were to fabricate a story to discredit Mr Hun Sen and Ms Sovantha, there would have been no need to create so many fake messages.
“Nobody apart from the two concerned persons would have known so many details about their relationship, which can be seen as factual proof when it comes to the schedule and detailed activities of Hun Sen,” he said.
In January 2017, Mr Hun Sen filed a defamation suit against Mr Rainsy through his lawyer Ky Tech.
During the hearing, the court played a 26-minute video of Mr Rainsy talking to Cambodian supporters in France, saying the Prime Minister had bribed Ms Sovantha.
Pizzeria customer pays over $5K for Facebook defamation
An Israeli woman who “shamed” a pizzeria on Facebook will pay 18,000 NIS ($5,187) in fines, Nazareth’s Magistrates Court ruled.
The woman, a Nazareth resident, shamed Migdal Haemek’s “Italkia” pizzeria on Facebook, writing that the pizza was “gross” and causing the owner, T., to lose income and damaging his reputation.
“She harmed by business,” T. said. “This is a business that I built by myself with my two hands. I built it from scratch. And here, a few words typed on a keyboard ruined it for me… It was very unpleasant.” He added, “We’re a small town. This is irreversible damage.”
The story began six months ago, when a 50 NIS ($14.4) pizza with eight toppings and tomatoes was not ready on time, and then complained it was “inedible and soggy,” promising “never to buy” from the store again.
“At least the cats will enjoy it,” she said.
She refused the T.”s offer of a refund or new pizza, because he would not deliver the replacement to her home and asked that she come to pick it up. Venting on Facebook, she slammed the pizzeria, describing their pizza as “gross” and using the “#gross” and “#Italkia” hashtags.
Later, she deleted the post of her own accord.
According to Hadashot TV, the woman’s Facebook post brought T. to his knees, forcing him to sell the pizzeria at a loss. T. also said his customer added untrue details to the story, in an effort to make it seem worse than it truly was.
Suing originally for 100,000 NIS ($28,838), T. received 15,000 NIS ($4,326) in compensation and 3,000 NIS ($865) in court costs. In addition, the judge ordered her to publicize the court case and the ruling on her Facebook page.
Meanwhile, T. told Hadashot TV that he would have withdrawn the claim “if she would have come to court and apologized, asking forgiveness.”
China collecting DNA, biometrics from millions in Xinjiang: report
Authorities in China’s far-west are collecting DNA samples, fingerprints, eye scans and blood types of millions of people aged 12 to 65, according to a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report.
Xinjiang, the only Chinese territory apart from Tibet where ethnic Han Chinese are not in the majority, has long been subject to tight controls and surveillance not experienced elsewhere in China.
In April, authorities banned the region’s 10 million Muslims from wearing long beards or veils in public, as well as banning home schooling and introducing new restrictions on downloading allegedly extremist materials.
Authorities in China’s far-west are collecting DNA samples, fingerprints, eye scans and blood types of millions of people aged 12 to 65, according to a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report. Xinjiang, the only Chinese territory apart from Tibet where ethnic Han Chinese are not in the majority, has long been subject to tight controls and surveillance not experienced elsewhere in China. In April, authorities banned the region’s 10 million Muslims from wearing long beards or veils in public, as well as banning home schooling and introducing new restrictions on downloading allegedly extremist materials. Authorities in China’s far-west are collecting DNA samples, fingerprints, eye scans and blood types of millions of people aged 12 to 65, according to a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report. Xinjiang, the only Chinese territory apart from Tibet where ethnic Han Chinese are not in the majority, has long been subject to tight controls and surveillance not experienced elsewhere in China. In April, authorities banned the region’s 10 million Muslims from wearing long beards or veils in public, as well as banning home schooling and introducing new restrictions on downloading allegedly extremist materials. In April, authorities banned the region’s 10 million Muslims from wearing long beards or veils in public, as well as banning home schooling and introducing new restrictions on downloading allegedly extremist materials.
Geoffrey Rush defamation suit: What the court documents reveal about the actor’s claims
The 66-year-old actor has launched defamation proceedings against the tabloid, with a statement of claim filed in the Federal Court today.
The documents also allege that Rush was forced out of his role as the AACTA president, rather than voluntarily stepping aside, as he told the media on the weekend.
Who is he suing?
The 2012 Australian of Year is suing the owner of The Daily Telegraph, Nationwide News Pty Limited, and the journalist who penned the articles, Jonathon Moran.
Moran is a reporter for the Confidential section of the newspaper which reports on entertainment news and celebrity gossip.
His reporting was on the front page of the print publication and widely distributed online when the stories were published.
What is he suing for?
The statement of claim lodged by Rush’s lawyers takes aim at a series of articles, headlines and social media.
The first complaint is about the newspaper’s billboard on November 30, a poster usually seen on the outside of newsagents, which said: “WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Geoffrey Rush in scandal claims, theatre company confirms ‘inappropriate behaviour’.”
The court documents allege the implication was that Rush had “engaged in scandalously inappropriate behaviour” and “inappropriate behaviour of a sexual nature” in the theatre.
The next issue was about the article published that same day which was run with the front page headline: “KING LEER: World Exclusive Oscar-winner Rush denies ‘inappropriate behaviour’ during Sydney stage show.”
The lawyers claim the article, billboard and headlines had defamatory meaning and made Rush out to be a “pervert” a “sexual predator” and had engaged in “inappropriate behaviour” against another person in the Sydney Theatre Company’s 2015 production of King Lear.
The second article which Rush’s lawyers raised as a problem was published on December 1 with the headline “WE’RE WITH YOU: Theatre cast back accuser as Rush denies ‘touching'”.
Do Australia’s strict defamation laws help protect high-profile abusers?
Last week, ABC Sydney broadcaster, author and journalist Richard Glover posted a link to a feature article he’d written about Don Burke in 1991.
Published in Fairfax’s Good Weekend, the piece offers an at-times damning depiction of Burke as an ultra-controlling narcissist, but hints at worse.
It added to a chorus of accounts that suggested the allegations of sexual harassment by the Burke’s Backyard presenter were something of an open secret for decades.
So why did such allegations never make it to print?
“Don Burke is a resident in New South Wales. Sydney is regarded as a defamation capital of the world, so there is a greater risk that he would sue,” leading media lawyer Peter Bartlett says.
“We’re in the unfortunate position that we have some of the most restrictive media laws in the world.”
A partner with Minter Ellison, Mr Bartlett has provided defamation advice to Fairfax Media for decades.
He believes that too often, our laws stop allegations coming to the light.
“I think the balance is weighted too much in in favour of the plaintiffs and very much against freedom of speech,” he says.
The truth — and something like the whole truth
If published material has the potential to lower an individual’s reputation then there is a defamation risk.
While it’s not illegal to publicly lower someone’s reputation, you need a strong defence to do so. Typically, that defence is the truth.
A journalist can feel certain that a source is telling the truth, and be confident in publishing their allegations, but if a defamation case is taken to court, that truth can become easy to undermine.
Truth in historical cases can be difficult to prove in a courtroom setting, particularly in situations involving only two parties and no witnesses.
In Australia, if the court can’t determine who is telling the truth, the defendant (that is, the publication and source) will typically lose.
60 Minutes defamation case: documents reveal escape of ‘child bride’
GOVERNMENT documents detailing how Australian consular officials helped a Sydney teenager escape from Syria where her family were trying to force her to marry have been presented in a defamation case against Nine’s 60 Minutes.
A 2006 case file on Nadia Tabbaa from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade details how they helped the 18-year-old escape under the nose of her family who kept her under strict surveillance by whisking her away when she was meant to be attending a religious class and smuggling her over the border to Jordan.
But her mother Pamela Tabbaa, who with her former husband Mouhammad Tabbaa is suing 60 Minutes over the story of Nadia’s dramatic escape, told the jury the Australian consular staff were tricked into helping the teenager escape when she was free to leave Syria whenever she wanted.
Mr and Mrs Tabbaa are suing Nine over the story which said they conspired to lure 13-year-old Nadia to the Middle East under the pretence of a holiday and then forced her to live in Syria with her paternal grandmother for five years. The Tabbaa’s claim the story has damaged their reputations by bringing them into ridicule and contempt.
In the DFAT documents dated August 9 2006 staff from the Australian Emergency Response Team in the Canadian Embassy in Damascus note that they have been contacted by Nadia Tabbaa who told them she was being prevented from leaving Syria by her father and uncles
“Nadia advised that she was brought to Syria under false pretences on a holiday at 13 and her movements in Syria are monitored,” the report states.
Nadia also reported that “her grandmother is trying to marry her off and her father has confiscated her passport.”
Natalie Portman Has ‘100 Stories’ Of Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination
When actress Natalie Portman heard the mounting allegations of sexual assault and misconduct in Hollywood, she said she considered herself lucky that she has never been personally assaulted.
Then she recalled “100 stories” of being sexually harassed and discriminated against during her own rise as an Academy Award-winning star, which are just as inexcusable but have been long ignored, she told entertainment website Vulture.
The “Black Swan” actress opened up about her own experiences on Sunday, saying that sexual harassment has become so commonplace for women that it’s taken for granted as “part of the process.”
“I’ve had discrimination or harassment on almost everything I’ve ever worked on in some way,” she said. “I went from thinking I don’t have a story to thinking, ‘Oh wait, I have 100 stories.’ And I think a lot of people are having these reckonings with themselves, of things that we just took for granted as like, this is part of the process.”
I’ve had discrimination or harassment on almost everything I’ve ever worked on in some way.”
Sharing one disturbing example, she recalled being invited to ride on a producer’s private plane to a location. She was told members of his company would already be on board, but when she arrived, it was just the two of them, along with a single bed.
“This doesn’t make me feel comfortable,” she recalled telling the producer. “And that was respected. But that was super-not okay, you know? That was really unacceptable and manipulative and could have been — I was scared, you know?”
Portman stressed that she’s not sure that men realize how physically vulnerable women can feel. Making matters worse, she noted that it’s common for movie sets to have very few women, “apart from hair, makeup, and wardrobe — the very stereotypical departments for women to be in.”
Rafael Nadal wins £10,000 defamation case against former French minister who accused him of faking injury to hide positive drugs test on television
Rafael Nadal has won his legal battle against former French government minister Roselyne Bachelot following her accusation that he sat out a ‘silent ban’ for a doping offence in 2012.
The world No 1 was awarded £10,700 in damages, well short of the £90,000 he was seeking, because the judge did not feel the allegation had adversely affected his commercial worth.
Nadal, who has never failed a drugs test, strenuously denied her accusation, made on French TV last year in the wake of the Maria Sharapova suspension, and sued Bachelot for defamation.
Nadal had provided medical and testing records to show that his six-month absence five years ago was due to knee problems.
‘When I filed the law suit against Mrs. Bachelot, I intended not only to defend my integrity and my image as an athlete but also the values I have defended all my career,’ said Nadal in a statement.
‘I also wish to avoid any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished.
‘The motivation, as I have always remarked, was not economical. As the tribunal considered there has been a wrong-doing and the sentence recognises the right to damages, the compensation will be paid in full to an NGO or foundation in France.’
Gaslamp Killer Files $5 Million Defamation Lawsuit Over Rape Accusation
William Bensussen, the electronic music producer and longtime Low End Theory resident known as The Gaslamp Killer, has filed a $5 million defamation lawsuit against two women who accused him last month on social media of drugging and raping them in 2013. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Nov. 13, names the two women, Chelsea Tadros and RaeAn Medina, along with Tadros’ boyfriend, Jack Wagner.
The 26-page suit, a copy of which was obtained by L.A. Weekly, seeks damages on seven counts, including defamation by libel, false light, interference with contractual relations and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“These false and despicable allegations have sabotaged Mr. Bensussen’s career, upended his personal life, and led to the cancellation of his shows,” Bensussen’s attorney, Parag Amin, said via a written statement. “Mr. Bensussen is seeking to restore his good name the right way — through a court of law, where people must testify under oath and there is accountability for false statements.”
Tadros, Medina and Wagner did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Through a representative, Bensussen also declined to comment, instead referring to a press release that included statements from his attorney, Amin.
“False stories like the ones perpetrated by these two women further victimize real victims of assault,” Amin said.Bensussen was first accused of rape on Oct. 12, by a woman then identified only as Chelsea, who posted a screenshot on Twitter of a lengthy statement in which she “falsely [claimed] that she and Medina were raped by Bensussen on July 5, 2013 after being drugged at The Standard hotel in Downtown Los Angeles,” as described in the suit, which reprints the original accusation in full. In her statement, Tadros claimed after she and her friend, Medina, returned from the bathroom, Bensussen gave them drinks that had been spiked with some kind of drug.
Brett Ratner Sues Woman for Defamation Over Rape Allegation
Brett Ratner has filed a defamation lawsuit against a woman who claims he raped her over a decade ago in Los Angeles.
Melanie Kohler first made the allegations against the director in an Oct. 20 Facebook post, calling him a “rapist” and saying the assault took place “in Hollywood about 12 years ago,” according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
“[Ratner] preyed on me as a drunk girl [and] forced himself upon me,” the documents claim she said in the post.
Ratner is suing for defamation, claiming an unspecified amount of damages.
Six women — including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge — spoke out against Ratner, 48, in an article published by the Los Angeles Times Wednesday. Munn said that while visiting the set of the 2004 Ratner-directed film After the Sunset, he masturbated in front of her.
In a statement to the L.A. Times, Ratner’s attorney Martin Singer vehemently disputed the specific allegations and said “no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. Furthermore, no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement from my client.”
On Wednesday, Ratner responded to the allegations himself, saying, “In light of the allegations being made, I am choosing to personally step away from all Warner Bros.- related activities.” He added, “I don’t want to have any possible negative impact to the studio until these personal issues are resolved.”
Ratner is a longtime Hollywood power player known for directing the Rush Hour series and producing movies like Horrible Bosses and The Revenant. He reportedly had a first-look deal with Warner Bros. and was connected to a project titled Goldfinch based of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller of the same name. According to Deadline, insiders at Warner Bros. say that Ratner no longer has an office at the studio, has been removed from the Goldfinch project and will not have his deal renewed.