Ge­of­frey Rush asks for mil­lions as trial ends

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - MATTHEW BENNS

“I heard it over the comms that we had a prior 1 ca­su­alty and we were off,” said Tieche.

“As soon as I peeled around the back of ve­hi­cle we had some small arms fire.

“It was all go. I re­mem­ber think­ing ‘wow this is such a movie scene in it­self’.”

Iso­lated in the desert, the pla­toon could rely only on the equip­ment they had car­ried. Tieche used an an­tenna shot off a dam­aged ve­hi­cles as a splint for El­liott’s legs.

De­spite his wounds, El­liott still had his mind on the en­emy. “I man­aged to pull out my pis­tol and shoot off a few rounds … while I was be­ing treated,” he said. It would be the last time El­liott fired his gun in com­bat.

El­liott was ex­tracted to a “safe AC­TOR Ge­of­frey Rush is seek­ing mil­lions of dol­lars in dam­ages for defama­tion over the pub­li­ca­tion of allegations of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour in the theatre.

Lawyers for Mr Rush told The Fed­eral Court that the zone” where Tieche gave him in­tra­venous flu­ids, checked his mor­phine and mon­i­tored his vi­tal signs while they waited for an evac­u­a­tion he­li­copter.

“Jody was very con­fi­dent and re­laxed — just your typical sur­fie, noth­ing would re­ally worry him,” said El­liott. “He’s per­fect as a medic.

“Jody’s treat­ment of me was per­fect. If it wasn’t good I’d be dead right now.”

A US Black­hawk evac­u­ated El­liott to the multi­na­tional base at Tarin Kowt, where Amer­i­can sur­geons sta­bilised him be­fore he was trans­ferred

to Kan­da­har for fur­ther ac­tor had been un­able to work since the allegations were pub­lished in Syd­ney’s Daily Tele­graph at the end of last year.

But the news­pa­per’s bar­ris­ter, Tom Black­burn, SC, said Mr Rush had failed to pro­vide any proof that of­fers of work had dried up or that he was un­able to work. treat­ment, in­clud­ing re­mov­ing shrap­nel. He was then flown to Ger­many, where sur­geons in­serted a ti­ta­nium rod to hold his hip and fe­mur to­gether, and fi­nally home to Syd­ney’s North Shore Pri­vate Hos­pi­tal.

It was six weeks be­fore he walked again and six months be­fore he re­de­ployed.

“I was pretty keen to get back there. I’d done all of my re­hab, my train­ing and I’d been passed to de­ploy,” he said. “It wasn’t un­til I got over there that it re­ally hit me. My body wasn’t quite up for it yet … but also men­tally get­ting back out there was very hard.”

As El­liott was about to pass out of the gate at Tarin Kowt for his pla­toon’s first “gig” of the trip, he re­alised he “couldn’t do it”.

“It was ex­tremely hard to leave the guys … it’s pretty much an­other fam­ily so to see them go out and go my sep­a­rate way was very hard for me,” he said.

“That was the hard­est de­ci­sion of my life.”

De­spite his in­juries, El­liott has no re­grets.

“I don’t think I’d change what hap­pened,” he said. “It was a lifechang­ing

Mr Black­burn said Mr Rush had “been care­fully and de­lib­er­ately silent about the num­ber of of­fers” he had re­ceived from Hol­ly­wood film mak­ers.

His Hol­ly­wood agent had also “very care­fully” avoided re­veal­ing how many of­fers had been re­ceived.

Mr Rush, 67, is su­ing The event, char­ac­ter build­ing, some­thing that I’ll never for­get. It’s changed me for the bet­ter.”

El­liott and Tieche were al­ready firm friends, hav­ing trained to­gether and find­ing they shared a love of surf­ing and ‘screamo’ bands. But a life­long bond was formed in the dirt that day 11 years ago.

“He’s the per­son who saved my life,” El­liott said. “It’s a pretty spe­cial thing. Not many peo­ple would have that. Al­though we don’t travel and see each other we’ll al­ways be friends. That will stay for­ever.” Daily Tele­graph over ar­ti­cles which re­ported that a young ac­tor had lodged a com­plaint with the Syd­ney Theatre Com­pany over his al­leged “in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour.”

The ac­tor was later named as Eryn Jean Norvill, 34, Rush’s co-star in the play Shake­speare play King Lear. Cpl Jody Tieche works on Pvt Chad El­liott dur­ing an am­bush (main pic­ture). The medic (bot­tom right) and com­mando (bot­tom left) were at­tached to 4RAR.

PRI­VATE CHAD EL­LIOTT

El­liott, 36, was fast tracked into spe­cial forces af­ter join­ing 4RAR (Cdo) via a di­rect re­cruit­ing scheme in 2004. Went to Afghanistan three times and was se­ri­ously wounded when he was shot in the fe­mur on his sec­ond trip in 2007.

COR­PO­RAL JODY TIECHE

UK-born but Perth raised, Tieche, 34, joined the ADF in 2002 be­fore be­ing posted to 4RAR (Cdo). De­ployed as a medic to Afghanistan twice and saved El­liott’s life on his first tour.

COR­PO­RAL MARK DON­ALD­SON VC

The boy from Dor­rigo who be­came one of Aus­tralia’s most dec­o­rated veter­ans when he re­ceived the first Vic­to­ria Cross to be awarded since Viet­nam. The 39-yearold worked closely with Voodoo Medics and was treated by them dur­ing nu­mer­ous Afghan tours.

COR­PO­RAL JEREMY HOLDER MG

Holder, 34, joined the army as a medic in 2002 and was posted to 4RAR (Cdo). Went to Afghanistan in 2006 and later re­ceived a Medal of Gal­lantry for sav­ing six com­man­dos and an in­ter­preter dur­ing Op­er­a­tion Perth. Treated hun­dreds of casualties dur­ing that trip in­clud­ing many Afghan civil­ians.

MA­JOR DAN PRONK

An doc­tor who com­pleted SAS se­lec­tion, Pronk went to Afghanistan four times 2009-13. Awarded a CDS in 2012. Ac­com­pa­nied spe­cial forces op­er­a­tors on more than 100 com­bat mis­sions.

MA­JOR BRAM CON­NOLLY DSM

Mr Rush de­nies the allegations.

Mr Rush’s bar­ris­ter Bruce McClin­tock told The Fed­eral Court his client earned an av­er­age of $128,006 a month.

The trial has now ended. Jus­tice Wigney has re­served his de­ci­sion to a date to be de­ter­mined “early next year”. A 20-year army vet­eran, Con­nolly, 44, re­ceived the Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice Medal for lead­er­ship in com­bat in Afghanistan. Was pla­toon com­man­der dur­ing the in­fa­mous bat­tle of Za­bat Kalay.

Ge­of­frey Rush ar­rives at court.

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