Rebel Wilson's defamation payout reduced on appeal

Lewis Collier
June 14, 2018

Actor Rebel Wilson's record defamation payout from magazine publisher Bauer Media has been slashed from $4.5 million to just $600,000 by Victoria's Court of Appeal.

A year ago, a jury found that Bauer Media, which publishes magazines like Australian Women's Weekly and Woman's Day, had defamed Wilson when it published a series of articles claiming she'd lied about her name, age, and other details about her life.

The night before the decision, Wilson took to Twitter to reveal she wasn't bothered by the publisher's appeal.

The Court of Appeal on Thursday cut the general damages payout to $600,000 and set aside the special damages sum, finding it was wrongly awarded.

But Bauer, backed by a host of large Australian media companies, appealed the decision in February, arguing the damages bill was too high.

In the hours before the appeal, Wilson pointed out that Thursday's case was contending the amount of money she was to be paid, not the result of the case.

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"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", she said.

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

The judge who determined the initial payout had relied on testimony from Wilson and two Hollywood agents that the articles, which were not published in the United States, still would have influenced movie industry decision makers, the appeals court judges added.

She would also like you to remember that she already won, okay?

Actress Rebel Wilson struts across the stage as she is introduced to speak at College Signing Day, an event honoring Philadelphia students for their pursuit of a college education or career in the military at Temple University in Philadelphia, May 2, 2018.

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