Constantine Arvanitis’ secrecy bid rejected in defamation case over ‘cheater’ letter9th May 2021
A medical report filed with the court by Mr Arvanitis said that his primary way of coping with the publicity was to withdraw from social activities.
“The longstanding acrimony … has had a significant impact on him which can only be exacerbated by the reporting,” Ms Collaris said.
“If these proceedings are published, that defeats the very purpose of the proceedings.”
Ms Collaris also accused Ms Holder of taking her story to the media, saying there was a circumstantial case that she had leaked it to The Age to apply pressure on Mr Arvanitis to settle the matter.
“I say that there is evidence before the court … that it was leaked by the defendant,” she said. “We now find ourselves in a position where we have to fix the damage the best we can.”
Barrister Barrie Goldsmith told the court that there was no evidence that his client, Ms Holder, had contacted The Age or any other media organisation.
“It is not to be overlooked that the plaintiff has elected to commence these defamation proceedings,” he said. “He has decided to sue. He has elected to do this of his own volition.”
Mr Goldsmith said the plaintiff had been “outed for his womanising” and was now trying to undo the damage. “This is purely a selfish application because he’s elected to commence these proceedings. He has elected to pursue them,” he said.
“If the plaintiff does not like the heat of the kitchen, get out of the kitchen.”
The Age was granted leave at the hearing to oppose the application for the trial to be heard behind closed doors. Lawyer Sam White, acting for the newspaper, said that reporting of the case had been fair and reasonable.
“There is no reason why the principle of open justice should be departed from on this occasion,” he said.
“If the plaintiff has truly wanted to make this matter confidential, he ought to have done so at an earlier stage of the proceeding. And to do so now is simply not possible.”
Mr White rejected suggestions the story was leaked, telling the court the reporting had come from journalists simply checking court lists.
Judge Julie Clayton dismissed most of Mr Arvanitis’ application at a hearing on Friday.
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