How much Mt Tamborine principal has already been paid
A GOLD Coast high school principal who is suing parents for defamation has already been paid more than $180,000 in settlement money, a court has been told.
Long-serving Tamborine Mountain State High principal Tracey Brose originally sued eight parents for allegedly defaming her in social media posts after she was mysteriously suspended from duty in early 2016.
A defamation hearing in Southport District Court heard she has already settled with several of the parents.
Details of the settlements were revealed today for the first time.
One of the parents who are still fighting the case, Donna Baluskas, asked Mrs Brose during cross-examination how much she had received in each of the settlements.
Mrs Brose said had received $92,500 from one defendant parent, $70,000 from another and $20,000 from a third.
Another parent with whom she settled only this week, Charmaine Proudlock, has paid nothing, the court heard.
Mrs Brose confirmed she had commenced bankruptcy proceedings against Mrs Baluskas and her husband Miguel over three outstanding legal costs orders.
Mrs Baluskas asked Mrs Brose if she had launched the defamation action out of 'malicious intent'.
"No, if you had apologised and given an undertaking to retract and refrain from making further comment, we wouldn't be here (in court)," Mrs Brose replied.
Mrs Baluskas responded: "I did apologise, Ms Brose."
Mrs Baluskas asked Mrs Brose if she considered the $92,500 to be 'a lot of money for a comment made by somebody who later apologised'.
Judge Catherine Muir intervened, telling Mrs Brose the question was not relevant and she did not have to answer.
On Thursday, Mrs Brose admitted she had chosen to sue parents who owned property and who she could 'benefit financially' from.
However, she denied targeting low-income earners who could not afford legal fees.
An emotional Mrs Brose told the court she had spent $600,000 on the defamation case 'to reinstate my reputation'.
She said she had re-mortgaged her house and borrowed money from her father and brother to fight the case.
Another parent Mrs Brose is still suing, Laura Lawson, suggested during cross-examination that the principal's quest to clear her name had "also damaged us".
"No, I don't accept that," Mrs Brose replied.
"You need to be accountable for your decision to write those comments."
Ms Lawson said she would prove the comments were not defamatory "in any way, shape or form".