Saturday, 23 February, 2019


Rebel Wilson’s Bauer defamation payout slashed from $4.5m to $600,000

Rebel Wilson Rebel Wilson’s Bauer defamation payout slashed from $4.5m to $600,000
Hannah Rogers | 14 June, 2018, 12:24

The 38-year-old Australian comic actress, best known for the Pitch Perfect movies and Bridesmaids, was not in the Court of Appeal in Melbourne to hear the three judges' decision.

Wilson was awarded $4.5 million in damages last September, after a jury found Bauer Media had defamed her in a series of magazine articles that said she had lied about her age, real name and childhood.

A number of media companies - including Nine Entertainment, the publisher of this website - attempted to join Bauer Media in its appeal against the award to Wilson.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice John Dixon subsequently awarded Wilson $650,000 in general damages and $3.97 million in special damages, saying the defamation was "unprecedented in this country" and warranted "a substantial damages award to vindicate her and nail the lie".

"The Court of Appeal in Australia will be handing down their decision in the morning re my defamation case against @bauermedia".

Wilson said on Twitter the night before the judgment that she had won the case regardless of the damages awarded.

Speaking on behalf of Bauer Media, general counsel, Adrian Goss, said: "It was important for us to revisit the award of damages".

But Bauer Media successfully challenged that finding in the Court of Appeal in Melbourne.

It was previously Australia's largest ever defamation payout.

But the judge accepted Bauer's argument that there was insufficient evidence Wilson lost millions in potential earnings as result of several defamatory articles in Australian magazines.

The Court of Appeal is yet to determine costs.

Wilson is overseas at the moment, so she has yet to comment on today's decision.

"I'm away on location in Europe filming right now", she tweeted on Wednesday night.

Sad for Wilson, except not really seeing as she's already said she planned to donate any money she received to charity, or use it to support the Australian film industry.

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