'Explosive' investigation into UM leader to air nationally
UNIVERSAL Medicine founder Serge Benhayon will this week be at the centre of a program Channel 7 has described as an "explosive global investigation".
Mr Benhayon, a former bankrupt tennis coach, was last year found by a Supreme Court jury in the civil defamation suit he brought against former client Esther Rockett to be the "leader of a socially harmful cult".
The jury also found to be true the defamatory statements that Universal Medicine "engages in misleading conduct in promoting the healing services it offers" and "makes false claims about healing that cause harm to others".
Channel 7's Sunday Night program has released a preview video to the program set to be aired this week.
Ms Rockett featured in the video, accusing Mr Benhayon of predatory behaviour.
"He says he's the closest thing to god on Earth," Ms Rockett said.
A NSW Health spokeswoman has meanwhile told The Northern Star a directive issued by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard last November - that the department have no further dealings with UM - remains in place.
The directive came from concerns UM students were involved with the Positive Adolescent Sexual Health (PASH) conference being held in Lismore.
"Only Northern NSW Local Health District had any such association, and that was immediately discontinued," the spokeswoman said.
"No current members of PASH are involved with Universal Medicine, and PASH has resolved not to ever deal with UM again," she said.
In the defamation case, Justice Julia Lonergan confirmed the jury's finding with a ruling in Ms Rockett's favour in a hearing on December 6.
Mr Benhayon will have to pay her costs, but Justice Lonergan has reserved her judgment on how the extent of these costs will be determined after Ms Rockett's barrister Tom Molomby argued costs should be awarded on an indemnity basis.
A date for her decisions on costs and the proposed use of these documents has not yet been scheduled.