The high-profile defamation case between YouTuber Friendlyjordies and former deputy premier John Barilaro has finally been settled.
As per The Guardian, the comedian, real name Jordan Shanks, has formally apologised to Barilaro and will have to pay $100,000 in legal costs but there are no other damages to be paid. The YouTuber’s videos will also not be taken down now.
In court on Friday, November 5th, Shanks’ lawyer, Matthew Collins QC, read a statement on behalf of his client. “Throughout 2020 and 2021 Mr Shanks posted many videos about John Barilaro the former deputy premier of NSW,” he said.
“Freedom of expression for political communication is important, but Mr Shanks accepts some of the videos he posted were offensive to Mr Barilaro. Mr Shanks understands Mr Barilaro has been hurt, and apologises to him for that hurt.”
Shanks and Barilaro’s battles began earlier this year, with the former suing him in May over several videos the former deputy premier claimed were “vile and racist.” The videos in question came from late 2020, including one filmed inside an Airbnb controlled by Barilaro.
The terms of today’s settlement mean Shanks will pay $100,000 in legal costs accrued from the case, and he’ll have to edit the two videos which initially provoked Barilaro to remove the offensive comments. Shanks will also stop selling merchandise which features Barilaro following his retirement from politics.
In his own statement, Barilaro stated that he had accepted Shanks’ apology. “I am pleased that my defamation claims against Jordan Shanks have settled,” he said. “I am grateful and accept Mr Shanks’ apology to me, and trust that we can now each move on with our lives.
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The matter between Barilaro and Shanks isn’t fully at an end though: the producer for FriendlyJordies, Kristo Langker, is still facing trial next May for his arrest and charge after allegedly stalking and intimidating Barilaro earlier this year.
— 💧friendlyjordies (@friendlyjordies) November 4, 2021