Rebel Wilson was awarded $3.66 million by an Australian judge in her defamation case against Bauer Media.
The significant amount was against eight tabloid like magazines under Bauer Media which includes Woman’s Day and Women’s Weekly.
This payout was about four times greater than any previous payouts for defamation in Australia.
“Unless substantial damages are awarded there is a real risk that the public will not be convinced of the seriousness of the defamation, but will rather wrongly conclude that the articles were trivial or not that serious.”
Justice John Dixon said there were three main reasons for such a significant judgment.
- The first was that Bauer Media did not “properly investigate” the allegations from an anonymous source who was paid out for the information and claimed to be a former classmate with Rebel Wilson.
- The second reason that Justice Dixon cited was that the anonymous source seemed to have “an ax to grind” even by the editor of the magazine’s own estimations.
- The third and most important reason was that Woman’s Day published the information, knowing that the information was false…. The stories were written to coincide with the release of Pitch Perfect 2, which was used to capitalize on Rebel Wilson’s popularity at the time to maximize clicks and exposure for their articles.
The anonymous source at Woman’s Day and Women’s Weekly claimed that Rebel Wilson lied about her age and her name to become a movie star.
Wilson offered to settle with Bauer Media for $200,000, but the media giant refused the offer and went to court instead.
Wilson had this to say about her court win on Twitter today.
“Today was the end of a long and hard court battle against Bauer Media who viciously tried to take me down with a series of false articles. When the jury delivered its verdict they answered every single point in my favor. Today Justice Dixon accepted that Bauer Media subjected me to a sustained and malicious attack timed to coincide with the launch of Pitch Perfect 2.”
Wilson went on to say she plans on using the cash damage award to help some great Australian charities and supporting the Oz film industries. She said she was looking forward to getting back to entertaining everyone and she thanked all for their love and support.