The Sydney Daily Telegraph has issued an official apology for publishing “false and defamatory” allegations about Russell Crowe, Oscar winner and co-owner of South Sydney Rabbitohs, in a column written by senior writer Paul Kent earlier this year.
In the apologies, which was released today, Kent said:
“In my column for April 24, I deduced that Russell Crowe had betrayed George Piggins for his own financial gain and that Mr. Crowe had engaged in a campaign of lies, slander and disinformation against Mr. Piggins during the events that led to his purchase of the Rabbitohs in 2006..
I now accept that these statements were false and defamatory and should never have been published.
The Daily Telegraph and I would like to apologize to Mr. Crowe for the hurt, injury and distress caused by this column. “
Apologies to Crowe was made after the lawyers for actor and businessman, attorney Sue Chrysanthou, SC and Sydney attorney Bill Kalantzis, issued a notice of concern. The newspaper offered to make amends, rushing a costly libel lawsuit.
The column at the center of the potentially costly legal battle between the Daily Telegraph and Crowe was titled ‘They Owe George’, a legendary former player and coach of Australian professional rugby union club Rabbitohs, and said the club ‘high flight ”“ would not exist today without this great man ”.
Australian Rugby League personality George Piggins is a former player, coach and administrator of the Southern Sydney Rabbits club. Following their exclusion from the National Rugby League Prime Minister at the end of Super League WarPiggins also successfully fought the Rabbitohs’ battle for reinstatement into the NRL in the early 2000s – a fact the club mentioned on its official website in glowing terms, calling him “one of the leading figures of the club struggle for reinstatement. to the National Rugby League. Since 2003, the “George Piggins Medal” has been awarded annually to South Sydney’s Player of the Year.
Blackcourt League Investments Pty Limited, 50% owned by Crowe and billionaire James Packer, has a 75% stake in the Rabbitohs. The South Sydney Members Rugby League Football Club holds the remaining 25 percent. Mr Packer bought Court’s 37.5% stake in the club from Peter Holmes in 2014.
Crowe’s attorney, Ms Chrysanthou, also recently acted for Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young against Sky News, with the broadcaster paying $ 40,000 plus legal costs to prevent a libel suit from being brought against her after falsely spreading allegations that Hanson-Young implicated his young niece in a dangerous environmental protest. Neither the senator nor his niece attended the demonstration.
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