Rebel Wilson awarded millions in Australia defamation case

A huge legal victory for Rebel

Bauer Media has been ordered to pay Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson more than $4.5 million dollars in damages.

"The damage suffered by Miss Wilson warrants a substantial damages award to vindicate her and nail the lie", Justice John Dixon said, reading out a summary of his judgment.

The articles claimed the Pitch Perfect star was a serial liar.

The $3.6 million in damages is the biggest defamation payout in Australian history, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

In Australia's largest payout for a defamation case, actor Rebel Wilson has been awarded $AU4.5m.

Ms Wilson pledged via Twitter earlier this year to donate any damages won in the defamation case to charity.

Wilson told the court that the articles had cost her work by damaging her reputation.

"This is what we are focused on", Bauer Media general counsel Adrian Goss says.

"The allegations were based on information from a source who required payment and anonymity and whom the editor considered had an axe to grind", Dixon said. "She said that it was about holding Bauer Media to account".

About $3.9 million was awarded in special damages to compensate Ms Wilson for roles lost after her defamation of character by the publications.

Wilson had sought almost $8m (AU$7m) in damages from Bauer, and has promised to donate all her winnings to charity.

Ms Wilson sat in court for every day of the three-week trial and spent six days in the witness box herself.

The articles, which appeared in Woman's Day, Women's Weekly, OK Magazine and New Weekly in 2015, said that Wilson had publicly lied about her age, real name, upbringing, and had added a "touch of Hollywood" to her backstory.

After the six-woman jury ruled against the publisher, Ms Wilson said the case had exposed the "disgusting and disgraceful" conduct of some tabloid media and she looked forward to rebuilding her career.

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