Ben was wrongly identified as the Bondi Junction attacker. He's hired lawyers to sue.

A 20-year-old university student who was wrongly identified by the Seven Network as the Bondi Junction Westfield attacker has hired a high-profile legal team to threaten defamation action.

Benjamin Cohen was incorrectly identified by Seven as part of the fast-moving story. The attacker, who has since been confirmed as Joel Cauchi, killed six people at the Sydney shopping centre on Saturday.

Cohen's name began spreading online via X [formerly Twitter] and other social networks, and in an early morning live-cross TV news report on Sunrise, he was named as the "40-year-old lone wolf attacker".

The Sydney University student then received a significant amount of hate online. His name began trending, with more than 50,000 posts naming him as the unconfirmed killer. Many posts drew attention to his Jewish identity. 

Cohen's father Mark Cohen went online to defend his son.


By 8:30am on Sunday, NSW Police confirmed the identity of the killer as Joel Cauchi, a 40-year-old man from Queensland.

"It's extremely disappointing to see thousands of people mindlessly propagating misinformation without even the slightest thought put to fact-checking or real-life consequences," Cohen told the ABC.

An official statement from a spokesman for Seven has said it was "human error".

"It was escalated immediately and rectified. Seven sincerely apologises for the error," the statement read.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Cohen has now engaged two of Australia's best defamation lawyers — Patrick George of Giles George as his solicitor and Sue Chrysanthou as his barrister. It is reported that Cohen will be seeking damages from the broadcaster.

It is believed that his lawyers issued a concerns notice on Wednesday morning, a compulsory first step before filing a claim in court.

Earlier this week, Cohen spoke to, saying the ordeal had been "hectic".

"People don't really think too hard about what they're posting and how it might affect someone. It's very dangerous how people could just make stuff up and destroy people's lives," Ben told

"It's just gone crazy. It's like look you've got the wrong guy."

Feature Image: Facebook.