Former NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro settles libel case with Jordan Shanks


YouTuber FriendlyJordies “won’t have to pay a dime” in damages to the former NSW deputy premier after apologizing to him in court.

Former NSW Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro has settled libel proceedings against YouTuber Jordan Shanks, who “will not pay a dime” in damages for videos posted online.

The Federal Court was told on Friday that Mr. Barilaro would drop the case after the parties agreed to a settlement, with attorneys for Mr. Shanks revealing he would not pay damages.

Known more widely as FriendlyJordies, Mr Shanks was sued over two videos posted to YouTube, including one titled “Bruz” in which he called the politician “wog c – t” and “fat” and suggested that he ‘he was involved in corruption. .

The videos have gained over a million views on the popular comedian-journalist page.

But the court heard that Mr Shanks was now accepting videos that had harmed the former head of state nationals and apologized in a statement read by his lawyer.

“Freedom of speech for political communication is important, but Mr. Shanks accepts that some of the videos he posted were offensive to Mr. Barilaro,” said lawyer Matthew Collins QC.

“Mr. Shanks understands that Mr. Barilaro was injured and apologizes for the injury to him.”

Mr. Barilaro, of Italian origin, had sued for libel, claiming he had been the victim of a “vile racist attack” and portrayed as a “corrupt crook”.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Barilaro welcomed the outcome: “I am pleased that my defamation complaints against Jordan Shanks have been resolved.

“I am grateful and accept Mr. Shanks’ apologies and hope that now we can each move on with our lives.

“Unfortunately, my defamation claims against Google have not been resolved and will be determined by the Federal Court in March of next year.”

Judge Steven Rares congratulated the parties and ordered that no court costs be paid, as agreed by both parties.

Mr Shanks’ attorney, Mark Davis, said in a statement that his client would pay no damages and that “no video will be deleted.”

The statement said Mr Shanks would stop selling merchandise featuring Mr Barilaro, who had recently announced his retirement from politics.

Mr. Shanks will pay legal costs of $ 100,000 associated with two motions heard by the court earlier this year regarding unsuccessful requests for a jury trial and for the waiver of Mr. Barilaro’s parliamentary privilege.

Mr Barilaro’s lawyer, Sue Chrysanthou SC, told the court that his client’s case against Google, the publisher of YouTube, remains on hold because the global tech giant failed to produce the key data required by his lawyers.

Ms. Chrysanthou said it appeared that the legal team at the high-powered company had been “sitting on its hands” and failed to produce the extent of release of Mr. Shanks’ videos as requested.

“These numbers never happened and we have no idea when we’re going to get them,” she said.

Google attorney Lyndelle Barnett has requested an extension until December for the production of the documents, saying lawyers for the US-based company have important holidays such as Thanksgiving on the horizon.

Judge Rares, however, ordered that they file the documents by November 19, noting that it was a multibillion-dollar organization with considerable resources.

Mr Shanks’ producer Kristo Langker is still in court on criminal charges relating to the alleged harassment of Mr Barilaro.

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