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Rebel Wilson Wins Millions in Defamation Lawsuit against Australian Magazine Publisher
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Summary: Bauer Media was ordered to pay Rebel Wilson millions for harming her reputation.

On Wednesday, an Australian court awarded Rebel Wilson a huge payday. According to People Magazine, Bauer Media, the publisher of Women’s Day and other gossip rags, was ordered to pay the actress $3.66 million. The number was also reported to be up to $4.5 million by publications such as Buzzfeed. 

  
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Wilson, 37, sued Bauer Media after it published a series of reports that she had lied about her age. In 2015, Woman’s DayAustralian Women’s WeeklyNew Weekly and OK! said that Wilson had shaved off up to six years to appear younger in Hollywood. In court, Wilson said that Hollywood was age-ist and that she did not lie about her age but that she did not correct journalists who got their facts wrong. She said that the tabloids insinuation that she was purposely lying to further her career cost her roles in the industry.

“If I was guilty of something, I mean, I don’t really have any skeletons in my closet, which is why it’s quite hard for people to write bad stuff about me,” Wilson said on Australia’s Home Delivery in 2016. “You know, I don’t have a drug addiction or a secret child. But I think when I did go to America, I kind of just stopped saying my age.”

In 2015, Wilson was riding a career high with hits such as Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2, but she said after the articles ran, she lost roles in movies such as Kung Fu Panda 3. 

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Bauer Media’s publications interviewed a woman who said she was a former classmate of Wilson’s. The woman said Wilson was lying about her age, her name, and background. At the time, Wilson had brushed off the charges. On Twitter, she wrote, “OMG I’m actually a 100 year old mermaid formerly known as “CC Chalice” ….thanks shady Australian press for your tall poppy syndrome x.”

But it turns out the stories bothered her more than she had wanted them to. She ended up suing the owner of the publications; and in a three-week trial in June, her legal team successfully argued that Wilson was not a serial liar as was portrayed.



On Wednesday, Judge John Dixon announced that Wilson’s damages were $3.66 million, an amount four times higher than Australia’s previous record-holder.

“Substantial vindication can only be achieved by an award of damages that underscores that Ms. Wilson’s reputation as an actress of integrity was wrongly damaged in a manner that affected her marketability in a huge worldwide marketplace,” Judge Dixon said, according to CNN.

On Twitter, Wilson thanked her fans for their support.

“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,” Wilson wrote on Twitter. “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… The judge said he knew that the info from anonymous paid source was false and that Bauer Media traded recklessly on my reputation in order to boost its own profits. Justice Dixon has awarded me a record sum and I’m extremely grateful for that. It is 4 times the Australian record.”

Wilson said that the case was not about money and that she would donate her winnings to charity.

What do you think of Rebel Wilson’s win? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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