Industry Minister Christian Porter's legal action against the ABC and Louise Milligan has ended without a damages payout, both sides of the dispute have confirmed.
The terms of the agreement to discontinue the case are confidential, Mr Porter says.
In a statement on the ABC website, the broadcaster says an online article by Louise Milligan about an alleged historical rape in 1988 will remain online.
"All parties have agreed to not pursue the matter any further. No damages will be paid," the statement read.
"The ABC stands by the importance of the article, which reported on matters of significant public interest, and the article remains online."
Mr Porter told reporters on Monday afternoon that the article was "sensationalist, one-sided, unfair".
"It should never have been reported," he said.
"It has been very difficult. No-one would want to take on the ABC in defamation, particularly not when they said to me that they would defend this right down to the end."
Mr Porter says the ABC came to him with a request for mediation last week.
"I will observe their terms of the agreement which are confidential," he added.
The ABC said it stands by its journalist, Ms Milligan.
Mr Porter outed himself on March 3, nearly a week after the article was published, as the senior cabinet minister referred to in the allegations. He filed a legal claim on March 15, alleging the ABC and Ms Milligan made imputations he raped a 16-year-old girl in 1988.
The article at the heart of the matter has been updated with this editor's note:
"On 26 February 2021, the ABC published an article by Louise Milligan. That article was about a letter to the Prime Minister containing allegations against a senior cabinet minister. Although he was not named, the article was about the Attorney-General Christian Porter.
"The ABC did not intend to suggest that Mr Porter had committed the criminal offences alleged. The ABC did not contend that the serious accusations could be substantiated to the applicable legal standard - criminal or civil. However, both parties accept that some readers misinterpreted the article as an accusation of guilt against Mr Porter. That reading, which was not intended by the ABC, is regretted."
Christian Porter has discontinued his case. The ABC will pay him no damages. I stand by my journalism & proud to work @4corners & grateful to the ABC & our brilliant legal team for supporting public interest journalism. Thanks, everyone, for your support. https://t.co/1l0h3SjlAQ— Louise Milligan (@Milliganreports) May 31, 2021
Mr Porter lost the attorney-general portfolio in a reshuffle nine weeks ago after returning from medical leave to deal with the stress of the matters.
He outing himself as the senior cabinet minister referred to in the ABC story nearly a week after the article was published, and strenuously denied allegations he raped the young woman in 1988.
While facing the reporters who had been reporting on the allegations against an unnamed minister at that point, Mr Porter said he had been subject to "the most wild, intense and unrestrained series of accusations that I can remember in modern Australian politics".
The case itself had plenty of its own twists with the former attorney-general applying earlier this month to have parts of the ABC's defence made confidential pending decision on whether it should be struck out.
More to come
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