Rebel Wilson damages slashed on appeal

Share

Actress 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.

The final figure is significantly less than the $4.5 million the Pitch Perfect star had originally been awarded in damages after she was defamed in a series of magazine articles.

The original damages sum awarded to Ms Wilson last September was the largest defamation payment ever ordered by an Australian court, and several media organisations questioned whether the decision set a new precedent for defamation payments.

"In particular, this court has rejected the finding that Rebel Wilson lost the opportunity to earn AU$15m by being cast in lead or co-lead roles in three Hollywood feature films during the period from mid-2015 to the end of 2016", Justice Pamela Tate said.

During a two-day appeal hearing in Melbourne in April, Bauer's barrister Michael Wheelahan QC argued the level of damages was "manifestly excessive". "The Court of Appeal in Australia will be handing down their decision in the morning re my defamation case against @bauermedia".

But the Court of Appeal found there was no basis for her to be awarded financial damages for the potential loss of roles, setting aside the economic damages entirely.

Wilson is overseas at the moment, so she has yet to comment on today's decision.

Wilson was not present for the judgment but she took to Twitter the night before, saying she had already won the case.

'What happens tomorrow is to do with.

She wrote that she had "already won the case" and that the case was more about clearing her name than making money.

At the time, Wilson tweeted she would be donating the money to Australian charities and supporting the Australian film industry with the money.

Share