Actress Rebel Wilson has won a record fee from her defamation claim against media giants Bauer in her native Australia after she took them to court about misleading articles which she claimed stifled her career.
Wilson won A$4.5m (£2.7m; $3.6m) in Australia's largest payout for a defamation case when she successfully argued that a series of magazine articles had wrongly portrayed her as a serial liar, something that had detrimentally affected her career progress. Initially, the actress was seeking A$7m but had offered to settle out of court for A$200,000 before it went to court saying that it "wasn't about the money" and that she would donate the damages to "some great Australian charities" and the Australian film industry.
Wilson claimed that eight articles published by Bauer magazines in 2015 had portrayed her as a serial liar which, in turn, led her to being fired from two movie projects. Bauer argued that the articles were substantially true and had little to no effect on Wilson's career but the 6 woman jury rejected this. The defamation case was unprecedented in Australian court due to its international reach and as such, the fee won by Wilson is the largest ever in an Australian defamation case.
In a series of tweets after the case, Wilson said:
"The judge accepted without qualification that I had an extremely high reputation and that the damage inflicted on me was substantial."
"I’m looking forward to helping out some great Australian charities and supporting the Oz film industry with the damages I’ve received."
"Also looking forward to getting back to my career and entertaining everyone!"
The Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect star was in court for every day of the three-week trial, spending six of those in the witness box and said the verdict had exposed the "disgusting and disgraceful" conduct of some tabloid media.