Universal Medicine defamation hearing today

Universal Medicine founder Serge Benhayon. Photo

Universal Medicine founder Serge Benhayon. Photo

Today will see a second hearing in the NSW Supreme Court in the defamation case taken out by the founder of Goonellabah based Universal Medicine, Serge Benhayon, against Byron Bay blogger Esther Rockett.

The hearing will determine objections to Ms Rockett’s defence.

Mr Benhayon, whose group offers esoteric healing services and practitioner courses as well as esoteric women’s health modalities, claims his reputation was damaged by allegedly defamatory comments about his conduct with women and children, including hands-on healing practices.

Esther Rockett. Photo

Esther Rockett. Photo

Ms Rockett is a former Chinese Medicine practitioner who says she had personal experience of Benhayon and his workshops and practices in 2004 and 2005.

She commenced blogging about Universal Medicine in 2012.

Her defence has been partially crowdfunded and she is preparing to conduct the trial herself.

In Ms Rockett’s legal defence she has argued that some comments were not defamatory of the plaintiff, or if they were she is entitled to the benefit of various legal defences including ‘contextual truth’, ‘qualified privilege’, ‘honest opinion’ or ‘fair comment’.

She says she will argue she was replying to attacks from the UM community on reasonable grounds and her readers had an interest in UM as well as her replies and views.

Ms Rockett has served a notice of her intention to elect trial by jury.

6 responses to “Universal Medicine defamation hearing today”

  1. Len Heggarty says:

    There is not only defamation there is “intent” to defame.
    When there is intent and it is proven there also has to be the actual defamation because that was the intention. The intention to do harm to a person is about the motivation.
    When there is intension it also may be proven to be malicious, showing malice. That is when a person is shown to be vicious as most defamation is accidental.

  2. lynne ashcroft says:

    This is not news but rather interpersonal claptrap. Obviously someone has connections.
    Why not report on the court cases of arsonists rapists and the like all of which gets left out of the so called news locally.

  3. Ra says:

    Will I have a defamation case against me if I say he is full of hot air and quackery?

    • Nellie Cornforth says:

      Probably. He doesn’t like anyone saying anything that is even mildly questioning about his “group” or himself. Shame really, I would have thought openness would be a principle foundation of a group who claim to be all about love.

  4. Tweed says:

    What a waste of resources. Needless endless court resources wasted and wasted time reading any if Len’s comments …..

  5. Jane Henshaw says:

    Bravo for printing this article, and bravo Esther for standing up to this blatant SLAPP law suit. Many of us are following the case so thank you Echo for covering it.

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