Thu, Sep 14, 2017 - Page 5 News List

Rebel Wilson wins US$3.62 million in defamation suit against Bauer Media

AFP, SYDNEY

Actress Rebel Wilson fist pumps as she leaves the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne after winning her case on June 15.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson yesterday won A$4.5 million (US$3.62 million) in damages following a lengthy defamation case against an Australian publisher that portrayed her as a serial liar.

The 37-year-old Pitch Perfect star successfully sued Bauer Media over magazine articles that claimed she had lied about her age and background to further her acting career — walking away with what is said to be Australia’s largest-ever payout for defamation.

Bauer argued that the allegations made in Woman’s Day, Australian Women’s Weekly and OK! magazine in 2015 were true and denied they had damaged her reputation.

‘CORPORATE INTERESTS’

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

“Bauer Media’s defense of this case attempted to characterize its articles as true or as trivial or not likely to be taken seriously,” Dixon said. “Unless substantial damages are awarded, there is a real risk that the public will not be convinced of the seriousness of the defamation.”

Throughout the three-week trial, an often emotional Wilson claimed she was fired from DreamWorks animated feature films Trolls and Kung Fu Panda 3 following the articles.

‘DISGUSTING’

“Bauer Media took me down with a series of grubby and completely false articles,” Wilson said after winning the case in June. “Far too often I feel the tabloid magazines and the journalists that work for them don’t abide by professional ethics.”

“I can only describe their conduct as disgusting and disgraceful, and I’m very glad that the jury has agreed with me,” Wilson said. “And with the unanimous and overwhelming verdict, they have sent a very clear message.”

The Sydney-born actress, who was seeking A$7 million in damages, has previously said she would give the money to charity and the Australian film industry.

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