STILL WAITING: A Sunshine Coast man is still waiting for a former friend to pay a $400,000 judgment he was awarded in a successful defamation case.
STILL WAITING: A Sunshine Coast man is still waiting for a former friend to pay a $400,000 judgment he was awarded in a successful defamation case. FILE

Bankrupt woman 'can't' pay $400,000 for paedophile lies

A MAN who successfully sued a former friend over false rumours he was a paedophile "hasn't seen a penny" of the $400,000 owed as he claims the defendant declared bankruptcy.

Robert Grattan claims he is still suffering two years after he won a defamation suit against Diane Porter considering the legal battle cost him his home, relationships and now his retirement as he worked part-time at 68 years old.

Unfounded and untrue rumours began to circulate in 2011 and escalated in 2014 after Porter phoned the Nambour Christian College with claims she was concerned over a young girl's contact with Mr Grattan as he had acted inappropriately with her daughter.

Ms Porter or her sister-in-law also sent a local restaurant an anonymous letter that had Mr Grattan banned from the venue, Maroochydore District Court judge John Robertson's 2016 judgment states.

Judge Robertson found Ms Porter had engaged in "serious defamation" having said "one of the worst possible things that might be said about a person" and ordered she pay Mr Grattan $409,847.22, including $160,903 in damages plus legal costs.

Now Mr Grattan claims Ms Porter has declared bankruptcy and has not paid him back.

"The system is just not fair," he told the Daily.

"We thought, 'We won, fantastic'," he said of his feelings following the ruling.

He explained he and his wife Deborah had borrowed money from friends and family during the ordeal, and had worked to pay back the debt with the expectation Ms Porter pay the judgment.

Ms Porter admitted she refused to go to mediation or consider an apology because the thought of seeing Mr Grattan "made her sick", and so Mr Grattan said a case which should have lasted six months dragged out a year-and-a-half.

"In the end we had to sell that house to pay for solicitors, barristers, pay off credit cards and pay back people who had lent us money and we moved to Maroochydore," he said.

The Sunshine Coast Daily attempted to contact Diane Porter for comment, but she has not returned the calls.