Rebel Wilson awarded $4.5m in damages over defamatory magazine articles

Lawrence Kim
September 13, 2017

The Sydney-born actress, who appeared in Hollywood's Pitch Perfect films, said articles published by Bauer Media claiming she had lied about her age, real name and some childhood experiences cost her significant acting roles and income.

The 37-year-old had claimed more than $7 million in damages after a jury found she was maliciously defamed by four Bauer publications.

The jury ruled in Wilson's favour in June, agreeing the articles unfairly painted her as a serial liar who had faked her way to a Hollywood career.

She also said she would use the funds to create scholarships and invest in Australia's film industry in the hope of creating more opportunities for up-and-coming actors.

Ms Wilson has said she will give the payout to charity.

"Substantial damages are necessary to compensate her for the injury to her feelings".

Justice Dixon was scathing of Bauer's "campaign" against Rebel to pursue its own corporate objectives. The court had heard that Wilson had offered to settle for just $200,000.

Uniform national defamation laws introduced in Australia imposed a cap on damages of $250,000, although there are provisions for aggravated damages. Claimants can also seek redress for economic or business loss - the terms under which Wilson sought the extra compensation.

Bauer Media has issued a statement saying it's "considering today's judgement".

She has just finished filming Isn't It Romantic, a romantic comedy, in NY.

"A star like Rebel Wilson. a multimillion-dollar actress. could reasonably expect not to have had the hiatus in her career that the evidence establishes she had", he said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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