Australian actress Rebel Wilson has been awarded a record breaking amount of money in damages after winning her defamation case against Bauer Media.
The Pitch Perfect actress brought the case against two Bauer magazines, Woman’s Day and Australian Woman’s Weekly, after they published content suggesting that she was untrustworthy and a liar in 2015.
Wilson argued in court that the libellous content had lost her jobs, leading to the high sum of $4,567,472 in damages ($650,000 in general damages, and $3,917,472 for the missed acting roles). According to Wilson’s lawyer, this is the highest amount ever awarded in an Australian libel case, due to Victoria’s $389,500 cap on defamation cases. The cap was disregarded by Justice John Dixon due to the severity of the case.
“The jury’s verdict established Bauer Media’s publications had branded Ms Wilson a serial liar who had fabricated almost every aspect of her life,” said Dixon at the Supreme Court in Melbourne on Wednesday.
“The jury rejected the defences of substantive truth, triviality and statutory qualified privilege.”
Bauer Media have responded to the win with a statement, indicating that they are focused on “continuing to do what we do best and that is delivering great content to more than 85% of Australian women across the country via our iconic portfolio.”
Bauer react to $4.5m defamation loss to Rebel Wilson. pic.twitter.com/lgITCYt6Tm
— Shannon Deery (@s_deery) September 13, 2017
Wilson is expected to make a statement on the win later today.