He sued the Sunday Times for defamation after it published an article highlighting his aspects of his career and public behaviour in 2004. The article has been reproduced here and makes for pretty entertaining reading. The Cape High Court dismissed his action last week after finding that Roberts was a bad witness, many of his complaints were of his own creation and that he was described as "obsessive", "arrogant", "evasive" and "argumentative". The Court’s judgment is available in full for download.
Roberts was in New York when the judgment was handed down. He didn’t waste any time declaring his intention to appeal the decision on his return from New York. Although the judgment didn’t make new law, it reinforced the media’s entitlement to comment on the behaviour of public and controversial figures like Roberts and has been applauded by groups including academics and the South African National Editors’ Forum.