Rebel Wilson's $3.5M defamation payout dramatically slashed

Brenda Watkins
June 14, 2018

Rebel Wilson has dropped into Twitter yesterday to 1) Educate her fans about people unlawfully using her image to sell shit; 2) Remind everyone she already won her defamation case against Bauer Media; and most importantly, 3) Show off the gorgeeeee Prague filming location for her next film, Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit.

The judgment, handed down by the Court of Appeal in Melbourne on Thursday, means the Pitch Perfect actress will receive about $3.9 million less than she had originally been awarded.

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.

The suit was over a number articles, published in 2015, which made Wilson out to be a serial liar.

On Thursday, Victorian state appeals court cut Wilson's payout to just AUS$600,000.

It also reduced Wilson's non-economic losses by 50,000 Australian dollars to 600,000 Australian dollars.

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

In the lead up to today, major media organisations united in an unprecedented way to support Bauer's appeal in relation to that issue". It had been the largest defamation payout in Australian legal history, according to the Herald.

Wilson said on social media on Wednesday that she had already won her defamation trial and she hoped the court would uphold her damages payment so she could donate the money to charity and towards developing the Australian film industry.

In September previous year, Wilson won the largest defamation payout in Australian legal history, with Bauer ordered to pay $4.56 million in damages after accusing Wilson of being a serial liar in one of their magazines.

The Court of Appeal is yet to determine costs.

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