Rebel Wilson’s record-breaking £2.7m defamation payout slashed to £340,000

Rebel Wilson’s record-breaking £2.7m defamation payout slashed to £340,000

22
0
SHARE

Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson’s record Australian defamation payout of $4.6m (£2.7m) has been slashed to $600,000 (£338,000) on appeal.

The Sydney-born Pitch Perfect star was awarded damages against Bauer Media in September, after the group published articles claiming she lied about her age and background to further her career.

The magazine publisher appealed against what was the largest defamation win in Australian legal history, arguing the size of the settlement set a dangerous precedent and there were errors of law in the judgment.

Wilson was originally awarded $3.9m (£2.3m) for loss of earnings and $650,000 (£382,000) in damages.

The Victorian Court of Appeal has now decided Wilson should not receive any money for loss of earnings.

Its decision also cut the actress’s compensation in damages to $600,000 (£338,000).

Wilson had claimed a series of articles in Woman’s Day, Australian Women’s Weekly and OK Magazine in 2015 had portrayed her as a serial liar and damaged her reputation.

She told a jury at Victoria’s Supreme Court that the eight stories were part of a “malicious, deliberate take-down”.

The actress added that she was sacked from DreamWorks animated feature films Trolls and Kung Fu Panda 3 after the stories were published.

After winning the record payout, she said: “I had to stand up to a bully, a huge media organisation, Bauer Media Group, who maliciously took me down in 2015 with a series of grubby and completely false articles.”

She added: “The reason I’m here is not for damages. It’s to clear my name.”

The Court of Appeal has since ruled that there was no basis for Wilson to receive financial damages for the potential loss of roles.

It found the previous judge had relied on evidence from Wilson and two Hollywood agents to conclude the star had lost job opportunities.

Wilson, 38, is in Europe filming and was not in court.

She had previously vowed to give her entire payout to charity and tweeted on Wednesday it was never about the money.

She tweeted: “What happens tomorrow (Thursday) is to do with the losers @bauermedia quibbling about how much they now have to pay me.

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

A summary of the Court of Appeal’s judgement said: “For a considerable number of reasons, the critical inferences drawn by the judge could not be upheld.

“It followed that the judge’s award of damages for economic loss had to be set aside, there was no basis in the evidence for making any award of damages for economic loss.”

(c) Sky News 2018: Rebel Wilson’s record-breaking £2.7m defamation payout slashed to £340,000