NEWS

Rebel Wilson Awarded $4.6 Million In Defamation Win

That's $650,000 in general damages and $3.97 million in special damages

13/09/2017 10:54 AM AEST | Updated 13/09/2017 12:17 PM AEST
Neil Hall / Reuters
Australian actress Rebel Wilson poses for photographers at the European premiere of the film "How to be Single" in London, Britain February 9, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall

Rebel Wilson has won an "unprecedented" $4.56 million in a lawsuit against the publisher of Woman's Day over a series of defamatory articles.

The Pitch Perfect star was the defamed by Bauer Media in eight articles branding her a serial liar, a six-person jury found in June.

In what's understood to be the largest defamation payout of its kind in Australia, Victorian Supreme Court Justice John Dixon on Wednesday ruled Wilson, 37, should receive $650,000 in general damages and $3.97 million in special damages.

Wilson's instructing solicitor, Richard Leader, told reporters outside court his client would "thrilled" with the decision, and said the damages were four times the previous record for defamation damages in Australia.

Bauer Media's general counsel Adrian Goss said in a statement the company was considering the judgement.

"Bauer Media 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," he said.

"It is about continuing to do what we do best and that is delivering great content to more than 85% of Australian women across the country via our iconic portfolio."

Wilson has previously promised to give the money from her defamation win to charity.

In the lawsuit, the Sydney-born actress 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.

After four weeks of hearing testimony from Wilson herself, local journalists and several Hollywood celebrities, the jury of six at Victoria's Supreme Court found unanimously in her favour.

Wilson found a breakout role in the 2011 comedy hit "Bridesmaids."

But after the articles were published in Woman's Day and other Bauer-owned magazines in 2015, Wilson said she was told by the makers of Kung Fu Panda that she had become "too divisive" for a family film, according to her testimony, the Guardian reported at the time.

She also said she was subsequently fired from the DreamWorks animated film Trolls and she was not offered any other roles, according to the Guardian report.

(Additional reporting by Reuters)

More On This Topic