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Actor Craig McLachlan has dropped his defamation case against Nine newspapers, the ABC and former co-star Christie Whelan Browne.

The trial had been underway for two weeks when McLachlan, 56, and his barrister today made an application for leave to discontinue proceedings.

McLachlan was suing the ABC and Nine newspapers for publishing sexual harassment allegations from his time acting in The Rocky Horror Show musical in 2014.

Craig Mclachlan arrives at the Supreme Court on Thursday May 19.
Craig McLachlan arrives at the NSW Supreme Court for his defamation trial this week. The actor abruptly dropped the case today. (Nick Moir)

McLachlan’s legal team had spent the past two weeks calling multiple witnesses to the stand in support of his defamation claim.

Today, the first of 11 women was due to give evidence on behalf of the media outlets.

The court is adjourned and will return at 2pm so that orders can be made as to the terms of case dismissal.

Tory Maguire, the executive editor of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, said the discontinuation of the defamation trial was “vindication of both McLachlan’s victims and our public interest journalism”.

The Sydney Morning Herald and the ABC published their investigation on Craig McLachlan during the height of the #MeToo movement,” Maguire wrote.

“McLachlan’s claim against one of his victims, Christie Whelan Browne, and the media outlets, utilising Australia’s defamation laws, has had a chilling effect on victims’ willingness to tell their stories about other abusers, and the media’s ability to report on these serious allegations.

“The victims, the media and the public’s right to know has been damaged by this case, more than any costs order can ever repay.”

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