Rebel Wilson awarded A$4.5m in magazine defamation case

Rebel Wilson celebrating in June after a jury found in her favour Photo EPA[/caption]

Actress Rebel Wilson has been awarded A$4.5m (£2.7m; $3.6m) in Australia’s largest payout for a defamation case.

Wilson successfully argued that a series of magazine articles had wrongly portrayed her as a serial liar. In June a jury unanimously sided with the star, who had claimed the articles stifled her career in Hollywood. She has said she will give the money away. Bauer Media has always denied the articles were defamatory. A lawyer said it would consider the judgement. Wilson sought A$7m during the trial but had offered to settle for A$200,000 before it went to court. Justice John Dixon told the Supreme Court of Victoria that the defamation case was “unprecedented in this country” because of its international reach.

‘Malicious attack’

“Substantial vindication can only be achieved by an award of damages that underscores that Ms Wilson’s reputation as an actress of integrity was wrongly damaged in a manner that affected her marketability in a huge worldwide marketplace,” he said on Wednesday. The Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect actress was not in court on Wednesday, but she later tweeted that Bauer Media “viciously tried to take [her] down with a series of false articles” and “subjected [her] to a sustained and malicious attack”. “The judge accepted without qualification that I had an extremely high reputation and that the damage inflicted on me was substantial,” she wrote. She added that the case “wasn’t about the money” and that she would donate the damages to “some great Australian charities” and the Australian film industry. Wilson sat in court for every day of the three-week trial and spent six days in the witness box. She claimed that eight articles published by Bauer magazines in 2015 had portrayed her as a serial liar, and that this resulted in her being sacked from two feature films. A six-woman jury rejected Bauer Media’s arguments that the articles were substantially true, trivial and did not affect Wilson’s acting career. A 12-person jury is not required for civil cases in Victoria. Wilson said the verdict had exposed the “disgusting and disgraceful” conduct of some tabloid media.
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Source: BBC]]>