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Gina Rinehart Likely Won Six-Figure Sum over Mini-Series Defamation Claim

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

Gina Rinehart is the Executive Chairman of Hancock Prospecting, a mining exploration and extraction company founded by Ms. Rinehart's father, Lang Hancock. Ms. Rinehart has consistently sat at #1 on the Australia Financial Review's 200 Richest People Lists, with her net worth estimated at between $10 and $20 million between 2017 to 2019. From 2020 to 2021, her wealth reportedly grew by $20 billion, with Hancock Prospecting reporting a record net profit of $4 billion in the 2020 financial year.

Gina Rinehart, with the text "Gina Rinehart" foregrounded.

Ms. Rinehart has also often been listed in Forbes' 100 Most Powerful Women Lists over the past decade and, as of 2021, is Australia's biggest landholder, controlling 9.2 million hectares, or 1.2% of Australia's entire landmass, through Hancock Prospecting and two subsidiaries, Australian Outback Beef and S Kidman & Co. She and her family have been embroiled in several legal cases.

Defamation Case against Channel Nine over House of Hancock Mini-Series

In February of 2015, Ms. Rinehart sought an advanced viewing of the finale of the Channel Nine mini-series, House of Hancock, following the broadcast of its first episode. A deal between the two parties' lawyers was reached which permitted the series to continue to be broadcast. This included included several scenes being cut and a disclaimer stating that the series was a "drama, not a documentary." Despite this, Ms. Rinehart sued Channel Nine for defamation and malicious falsehood following the series complete broadcast. During this same period, Ms. Rinehart was also engaged in court cases against two of her four children regarding the family's $5 billion trust fund and mining royalties.

In June of 2015 Ms. Rinehart withdrew her defamation claim against Channel Nine, but instead directed her lawyers' attention to the production company of the series, Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder. In February of 2017, both Channel Nine and Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder issued an apology to Ms. Rinehart. The production company also agreed to pay her legal costs, assumed to be a total sum of six-figures, and agreed to not release the series on DVD or to streaming channels or foreign markets.

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