Rebel Wilson Awarded $4.5M In Defamation Case
Rebel Wilson was awarded the largest defamation payout in Australian legal history on Wednesday.
A judge ruled that the Pitch Perfect star should receive $650,000 in general damages and $3.91 million in special damages — for a total of about $4.5 million CAD.
Wilson won her defamation case against Bauer Media in June. The company’s Woman’s Day was accused of publishing 40 articles that accused her of lying about her age, name and childhood.
Wilson testified that she lost roles because she had been painted as a serial liar.
“The jury found each of the articles was defamatory, and rejected the defendants’ triviality defences,” the judge wrote in his judgment. “The sting was serious, likely to be injurious and understood as such by the defendants prior to publication.”
In a statement, Bauer Media said it has “a long history of delivering great stories to our readers and we have a reputation for developing some of the best editorial teams in this country. This is what we are focused on.”
Bauer's list of publications includes In Touch Weekly, Life & Style and J-14.
Wilson, who had offered to settle the case pre-trial for $200,000, said she will donate the payout to charity and create scholarships.
The actress responded to the ruling in a series of tweets.
"Today was the end of a long and hard court battle against Bauer Media who viciously tired to take me down with a series of false articles," she wrote.
"When the jury delivered its verdict they answered every single point in my favour. Today Justice Dixon accepted that Bauer Media subjected me to a sustained and malicious attack timed to coincide with the launch of Pitch 2. The judge accepted without qualification that I had an extremely high reputation and that the damage inflicted on me was substantial.
"He said the nature of the aggravated defamation and the unprecedented extent of dissemination makes vindication of particular importance. The judge said he knew that the info from anonymous paid source was false. And that Bauer Media traded recklessly on my reputation in order to boost its own profits.
“Thank you again for the love and support. I am humbled.”