Lawyer & businessman Di Girolamo drops defamation case against Fairfax

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Lawyer and businessman Nick Di Girolamo has dropped his high-profile defamation case against Fairfax Media in the NSW Supreme Court. A four-person jury was told today the matter had been settled and Mr Di Girolamo had filed a notice of discontinuance.

Mr Di Girolamo’s action related to stories published by Fairfax between December 2012 and August 2013.
Written by reporters Kate McClymont, Linton Besser and Sean Nicholls, the articles concerned coverage of matters associated with the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Mr Di Girolamo claimed the articles damaged his reputation and led to the withdrawal of an offer to buy shares in Australian Water Holdings.

Some of the articles explored the connections between Mr Di Girolamo and former NSW minister Eddie Obeid, as well as other members of the Obeid family.

Mr Di Girolamo gave Barry O’Farrell the $3000 bottle of wine that led to the former premier’s shock resignation.

Fairfax barrister Tom Blackburn, SC, read a statement to the court: “(Fairfax Media) acknowledges in the articles the subject of this litigation it did not say and it did not intend to say that Mr Nicholas Di Girolamo was corrupt or had engaged in any corrupt activity in respect of Australian Water Holdings.”

Terms of the settlement are confidential.

Mr Di Girolamo said he was “very satisfied with the outcome and the acknowledgment that was read out in court”.

The trial before Justice Christine Adamson and a jury of four began on Monday. The newspaper publisher and its reporters proposed to defend the truth of their articles by inviting the NSW Supreme Court to examine details that also emerged during two of ICAC’s recent inquiries.

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