Rebel Wilson has Australian defamation payout slashed

Lawrence Kim
June 14, 2018

Actress Rebel Wilson's record defamation payout from magazine publisher Bauer Media has been slashed from $4.5 million to just $600,000 by Victoria's Court of Appeal.

Wilson's legal representatives were not immediately available for comment.

The Court of Appeal said that, in awarding compensation for economic losses, Justice Dixon "relied also upon his assessment of the trajectory of Ms Wilson's career".

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 on Thursday to hear the three judges' decision.

In September past 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 night before the decision, Wilson took to Twitter to reveal she wasn't bothered by the publisher's appeal.

But Bauer, backed by a host of large Australian media companies, appealed the decision in February, arguing the damages bill was too high.

With defamation payouts capped in Australia at $350,000, University of Melbourne Law Professor Andrew Kenyon told 9news.com.au when news broke of the damages ruling this payout is "way higher" than Australia has ever seen.

"It was important for us to revisit the award of damages", said Adrian Goss, Bauer Media's general counsel, according to the Australian paper.

The Court of Appeal has reduced the general damages payout to $600,000, and has found the special damages to have been wrongly awarded.

But regardless of how much in damages she's awarded, Wilson said she still considers herself a victor.

"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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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