Rebel Wilson wins $4.5m defamation payout

Carla Harmon
September 13, 2017

Australian comedian Rebel Wilson on Wednesday won A$4.6 million ($3.7million) in damages after a global magazine publisher was found to have defamed her in a string of articles which led to her losing out on Hollywood movie roles.

The Supreme Court of Victoria heard the pieces alleged she had lied about her name, age and upbringing in Australia.

Ms Wilson successfully argued that a series of magazine articles had wrongly portrayed her as a serial liar.

He said Bauer Media had "kept the story alive for days" for its own profit, knowing the allegations in its Woman's Day magazine would be picked up by other entertainment media worldwide, and as a result, Wilson missed out on a number of film roles.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice John Dixon told The Sydney Morning Herald the award was given because Wilson's reputation was severely damaged by the articles.

"Unless substantial damages are awarded there is a real risk that the public will not be convinced of the seriousness of the defamation".

Her legal team would also apply for Bauer to pay all her legal costs, Leder said.

The judgment follows a unanimous jury verdict in June that Bauer Media, publisher of Woman's Day magazine, had defamed Wilson by branding her a "serial liar" who "fabricated nearly every aspect of her life".

Wilson had sought almost $8m (AU$7m) in damages from Bauer, and has promised to donate all her winnings to charity.

"Rebel said that this case wasn't about money", Leder told reporters. She reportedly sought 7 million Australian dollars in her suit. "She said that it was about holding Bauer Media to account".

Bauer Media had branded that damages claim "extraordinarily large" and made on the "most tenuous of basis".

"I had to stand up to a bully, a huge media organisation, Bauer Media, who maliciously took me down in 2015 with a series of grubby and completely false articles", Ms Wilson said after the verdict in June.

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