Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Rebel Wilson wins $4.5m defamation payout

Rebel Wilson wins $4.5m defamation payout

Hollywood actor Rebel Wilson won Aus$4.5 million ($3.6 million) in damages on Wednesday following a lengthy defamation case against an Australian publisher that portrayed her as a serial liar.

Dixon said the damage to the actress' reputation was "unprecedented" and she suffered "financial loss".

Bauer Media has always denied the articles were defamatory.

Justice John Dixon said Bauer had "acted in its own corporate interests to secure improved circulation, or increased views/hits" in the ruling at the Supreme Court of Victoria.

The award was more than four times the previous record for a defamation case in Australia, Wilson's lawyer, Richard Leder, told The Associated Press. She has said she will give the money away.

Matthew Collins, Wilson's barrister, had said the $7 million figure was "conservative" because it was hard to verify exactly the kind of film contracts his client missed out as a result of the defamatory articles.

"I had to stand up to a bully, a huge media organisation, Bauer Media, who maliciously took me down in 2015 with a series of grubby and completely false articles", Ms Wilson said after the verdict in June.

Bauer Media had branded that damages claim "extraordinarily large" and made on the "most tenuous of basis".

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.

The jury found Bauer had said Wilson lied about her age, claiming to be six years younger, and had falsely claimed to have been named Rebel at birth.

On Twitter, Wilson, who is in the United Kingdom and did not attend court, said she was going through the judgment with her lawyer and would make a statement later Wednesday.

The "Pitch Perfect" star's legal team had allegedly argued for $1.2 million in general damages and $5.89 million in special damages.

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