Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Antoinette Montgomery

Australian actress Rebel Wilson has Bauer Media libel payout cut

Australian actress Rebel Wilson has Bauer Media libel payout cut

Bauer Media, publisher of Women's Day, has had a major victory on appeal in its defamation case with actress Rebel Wilson, with Victoria's Court of Appeal cutting the payout from $4.5 million to $600,000.

The articles alleged Wilson had lied about her age, her name and her upbringing in Australia, and were featured across Australian magazines, including Bauer's Australian Women's Weekly, New Weekly and OK Magazine.

A number of media companies - including Nine Entertainment, the publisher of this website - attempted to join Bauer Media in its appeal against the award to Wilson.

The appeal court removed the AU$3.9 million ($2.95 million) that the trial judge awarded for roles lost because of damage to Wilson's reputation.

The Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in Melbourne on Thursday and Wilson was not present in court for the ruling.

Wilson's lawyers had argued she missed out on film roles between mid-2015 and the end of 2016 due to the "grapevine effect" the articles had within the film industry.

But Bauer Media successfully challenged that finding in the Court of Appeal in Melbourne.

Bauer Media appealed against a Supreme Court of Victoria order that Wilson be compensated $650,000 in general damages and $3,917,472 in special damages
Bauer Media appealed against a Supreme Court of Victoria order that Wilson be compensated $650,000 in general damages and $3,917,472 in special damages

It was the biggest defamation payout in Australian legal history.

The actress she won her defamation case against Bauer Media in September past year. Bauer Media immediately said it would appeal the record-breaking payment.

The $650,000 compensation was also reduced to $600,000.

The Court of Appeal is yet to determine costs.

Discussing the case earlier this year, Wilson said the magazines had launched a vicious campaign which derailed her career and had been "really, really hurtful and devastating".

"While this case was never about the money for me", she wrote, "I do hope to receive as much as possible to give away to charities and to support the Australian film industry".

Wilson speaks to the media outside court after her initial victory.

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