Rebel Wilson awarded US$3.6m in defamation case

Rebel Wilson awarded US$3.6m in defamation case
FILE - In this Oct 19, 2016, file photo, Rebel Wilson attends the 5th Annual Australians in Film Awards held at NeueHouse Hollywood in Los Angeles. Photo: Invision via AP
Published: 12:15 AM, September 15, 2017

NEW YORK — Rebel Wilson, the Australian actress of Pitch Perfect fame, was richly vindicated Wednesday (Sept 13) by a court in Melbourne, which said that a magazine publisher must pay her US$3.6 million (S$4.9 million) in damages for defamation.

The publisher, Bauer Media, was responsible for articles in the Australian magazines Woman’s Day and Women’s Weekly that painted Wilson as the kind of nefarious shape-shifter that might appear in a Hollywood screenplay — a “serial liar” and opportunist who assumed a false name, age and biography in order to advance her career.

Wilson said the articles cost her work and personal distress.

Justice John Dixon of the Supreme Court of Victoria agreed, writing in his judgement that Bauer was guilty of “recklessness” and “did not care whether the plaintiff suffered reputational damage as it pursued its own corporate interests”. The award follows a jury verdict in Wilson’s favour in June.

In a statement on Wednesday, Wilson’s lawyer said the substantial sum set a national record for damages received in a defamation case.

On a break from production of the third instalment of the Pitch Perfect franchise, Wilson celebrated her victory in a series of Twitter posts and said the case “wasn’t about the money”. THE NEW YORK TIMES