Rebel Wilson defamation damages payout slashed almost $4m on appeal

Ruben Ruiz
June 14, 2018

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.

Wilson had argued that the articles had led to her being sacked from two films.

The articles falsely claimed she lied about her real name, age and childhood in a bid to make it in Hollywood.

The Supreme Court of Victoria subsequently awarded her a payout of A$650,000 (€415,000) in general damages and A$3.9m (€2.49m) for the loss of the film roles.

Magazine publisher Bauer Media has had a major win in its appeal over Rebel Wilson's defamation suit and will now have to pay the actress $600,000.

"I'm away on location in Europe filming right now", she tweeted.

But the judge accepted Bauer's argument that there was insufficient evidence Wilson lost millions in potential earnings as result of several defamatory articles in Australian magazines.

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According to Buzzfeed, the judge denied Wilson "special damages" stating she had not proven that the defamation cost her work.

"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".

Speaking on behalf of Bauer Media, general counsel, Adrian Goss, said: "It was important for us to revisit the award of damages".

Wilson's legal representatives were not immediately available for comment.

With defamation payouts capped in Australia at $350,000, University of Melbourne Law Professor Andrew Kenyon told 9news.com.au when news broke of the damages ruling this payout is "way higher" than Australia has ever seen.

It also reduced Wilson's non-economic losses by 50,000 Australian dollars to 600,000 Australian dollars.

When Wilson won the case a year ago, it was an Australian record for a case, much higher than the AUS$389,000 maximum previously set, by using her "global reach" as justification.

Other reports by GizPress

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