There was always going to be huge interest in Rush v Nationwide News Pty Ltd from the moment Sydney's The Daily Telegraph published a headline screaming "King Leer".
In what it claimed was a "world exclusive", the newspaper alleged that Australian Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush, had acted in an "inappropriate and sexually predatory manner" towards cast member Eryn Jean Norvill, during the 2015/2016 Sydney Theatre Production of Shakespeare's King Lear.
Mr Rush sued the tabloid's publishers for defamation, and yesterday (April 11) - won the case.
Knowing there would be huge public interest in the outcome, Federal Court Justice Michael Wigney prepared a summary to accompany his orders. It begins:
This is a sad and unfortunate case.
Justice Wigney found the publishers and their lawyers did not prove the truth of the story and, additionally, he was not "persuaded that Ms Norvill was an entirely credible witness."
The decision was delivered in a court swarming with media.
Camera crews swelled against the doors of the Phillip Street building in Sydney's CBD, waiting expectantly for a clear shot of the acclaimed actor.
Inside the court, the incessant noise of camera shutters faded and the mood was sombre but restless.
Mr Rush was seated to the left of the public gallery. It became clear that the decision was going to be in his favour when Justice Wigney referred to the stories as:
... sensationalist journalism of the very worst kind.
That's when people - presumably reporters - started to leave, eager to get the story out as soon as possible and to be in position when the actor emerged.
When it came time to "exit stage left", Mr Rush was calm and composed, pausing briefly to speak to the media scrum still assembled inside the glass-walled foyer.
As the cacophony of shutter clicks resumed and microphones were shoved in the actor's face, he read aloud from a prepared script.
"There are no winners in this case," he told reporters. "It's been extremely distressing for everyone involved."
As the actor left the building, the excitement was too much for a couple of spectators recording the hubbub on their mobile phones.
"Vote for marijuana," they yelled to the assembled media.
An almost comedic end to what many have considered a "Shakespearian tragedy" from the beginning - Story, Sidney Boen - Editing, Sue Stephenson