Australian comedic actress Rebel Wilson is today celebrating her victory over Bauer Media, having been awarded a multi-million dollar sum for articles published by the company that were deemed to be defamatory.
Rebel sued Bauer Media over a series of articles that were published in Australian magazines, Women’s Day, Women’s Weekly, New Weekly and OK! which she described in court earlier this year a “malicious, deliberate take-down” of her.
At the time, she told the court she decided to sue to “stand up” for herself and her family after the articles claimed she had lied publicly about her age, real name and upbringing.
“Even though it’s going to be harrowing to come into the court … I felt like I have to … I’m the one to do it,” she said.
“I have enough money, I have the courage to come and do it and this magazine company gets away with so much and not everyone has the strength to stand up for themselves.”
A judge in Melbourne today awarded her $4,567,000, describing the extent of the defamation as “unprecedented in this country” because of the articles’ global reach. “At trial and in the full media glare, Bauer Media tried to characterise its articles as true, or as trivial, or as not likely to be taken seriously,” he said.
Ms Wilson spoke out previously, tweeting, “Any dollars I receive will go to charity, scholarships or invested into the Aussie film industry to provide jobs.” “I take being a role model very seriously.”
The Supreme Court in Melbourne today heard Wilson had offered to settle before trial for $200,000 but after the offer was rejected, 37-year-old Ms Wilson sought damages of $7 million. The decision today saw Wilson awarded $650,000 in general damages and $3.97 million in special damages.
Ms Wilson was not present in the courtroom when the decision was handed down today.