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CHRISTIAN PORTER drops defamation action against the ABC

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Christian Porter has decided to discontinue his defamation action against the ABC and Louise Milligan.

Christian Porter declaring his innocence over sexual assault claims

One of the biggest court cases of the year has sensationally come to an end.

Former Attorney-General Christian Porter was suing the ABC and reporter Louise Milligan over claims he was identifiable from a February 26 article headlined “Scott Morrison, senators and AFP told of historical rape allegation against cabinet minister”.

Porter was not named in the article but alleged he was widely identified as the subject, including on social media.

The Federal Member of Parliament held a press conference in the days after declaring his innocence.

On Thursday his case suffered a setback when Federal Court Justice Tom Thawley ordered that prominent silk Sue Chrysanthou, SC, be restrained from acting for Mr Porter to prevent the potential misuse of confidential information and to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.

The ABC has issued a statement about the matter:

Christian Porter has decided to discontinue his defamation action against the ABC and Louise Milligan.

All parties have agreed to not pursue the matter any further. No damages will be paid.

The ABC stands by the importance of the article, which reported on matters of significant public interest, and the article remains online. It has been updated with this Editor’s Note:

On 26 February 2021, the ABC published an article by Louise Milligan.That article was about a letter to the Prime Minister containing allegations against a senior cabinet minister. Although he was not named, the article was about the Attorney-General Christian Porter. 

The ABC did not intend to suggest that Mr Porter had committed the criminal offences alleged. The ABC did not contend that the serious accusations could be substantiated to the applicable legal standard – criminal or civil. 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 regretted.

The ABC stands by our investigative and public interest journalism, which is always pursued in the interests of the Australian community.

The ABC stands by Louise Milligan, one of Australia’s foremost and most awarded investigative journalists, and all our journalists in their independent and brave reporting on matters about which Australians have a right to be informed.

Journalist Louise Milligan issued a statement via Twitter, saying:

Robert McKnighthttps://tvblackbox.com.au/robert-mcknight/
"Leading TV commentator" - The Daily Telegraph | "Known for his impeccable sources in the TV industry" - The Daily Mail | "Always first with the correct info" - Beau Ryan | Robert McKnight is a highly regarded Australian Television Producer having worked at SEVEN, NINE and TEN during his 25 years in the industry. Publicly he is most well-known for creating and producing STUDIO 10 but has worked on SUNRISE, THE MORNING SHOW plus other prime time productions in addition to creating award-winning news campaigns for both 7NEWS and 9NEWS. Currently, Rob is the host and producer of the TV BLACKBOX, MCKNIGHT TONIGHT and MONSTERS WHO MURDER podcasts plus host & executive producer of the video streaming show THE ANJ, ROB & ROBBO SHOW.
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Comments

  1. I support Christian Porter. Law says innocent until proven guilty. I consider the ABC reporting a disgrace. Its time the government replaced the abc with a non biased station

    • Hi Colleen – you appear to misunderstand how a defamation case works. Porter brought it against the ABC. Both parties agreed on a settlement and the case was withdrawn by Porter. It is not a case of guilt or innocence now. If anything, it exonerated the ABC and proved their work was correct.

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