Geoffrey Rush earned $5m for Pirates of the Caribbean

How much is calling an Oscar winner a sexual predator worth in defamation dollars? What if there are no more $5 million paydays from Pirates of the Caribbean movies?

The Geoffrey Rush defamation claims against Sydney’s Daily Telegraph got down to business on Monday, discussing the damages that might be payable to the Oscar-winning actor if he wins the case.

After two weeks of evidence from the central players – Mr Rush and his King Lear co-star Eryn Jean Norvill – and witnesses who may or may not have seen any inappropriate behaviour, it was time for the bean counters.

Unlike defamation matters in state courts, which only hear submissions on damage once there is a decision on the substantive matters – whether a person is defamed and whether there are any defences which justify…

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