Rebel Wilson has Australian defamation payout slashed

An appeals court has slashed Rebel Wilson’s record AUS$4.6m damage award to AUS$600,000 after a magazine publisher appealed the amount of its payout in a defamation case.

The 38-year-old Australian comic actress, best known for the Pitch Perfect movies and Bridesmaids, was not in the Court of Appeal in Melbourne to hear the three judges’ decision.

Wilson won a Victoria state Supreme Court jury trial ruling that German publisher Bauer Media defamed her in a series of articles in 2015 claiming she lied about her age, the origin of her first name and her upbringing in Sydney.

Bauer did not appeal the verdict that the articles were defamatory, but argued the Australian-record damages awarded in September were excessive.

Bauer successfully challenged the finding that Wilson should be compensated for film roles, including Trolls and Kung Fu Panda 3, which she testified she had lost following the articles’ publication.

The appeal court removed the AUS$3.9m that the trial judge had awarded for roles lost because of damage done to her reputation.

It also reduced Wilson’s non-economic losses by AUS$50,000 to AUS$600,000.

Wilson said on Twitter the night before the judgment that she had won the case regardless of the damages awarded.

“I’m away on location in Europe filming right now,” she tweeted.

“As I’ve said before, I have already won the case and this is unchallenged! This case was never about the money for me,” she added.

- Press Association

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