Porter drops defamation action against the ABC

Former Attorney General Christian Porter has dropped his defamation action against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan.

According to an ABC statement all parties agreed not to pursue the matter any further and no damages were paid.

"The ABC stands by the importance of the article, which reported on matters of significant public interest, and the article remains online," the statement read.

The ABC also made it clear that the only costs that it would be paying were the mediation costs.

The online version of the article 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 also said it stood by Ms Milligan who was one of Australia's foremost and most awarded investigative journalists.

Ms Milligan thanked all those who had supported her reporting once the announcement that the action wouldn't go ahead was made on Monday.

The comments section for this story have been deliberately left closed because there is a defamation risk on what people could say in this forum. This is also a reminder to be careful about what you post online.