Rebel Wilson’s Bauer defamation payout slashed from $4.5m to $600,000

Rebel Wilson’s defamation payout from Bauer Media has been cut from $4.5m to $600,000 in court today.

Wilson was originally awarded $4.5m last September, which was the biggest defamation payout in Australian history. The payout was made up of $650,000 in general damages and $3,917,472 in special damages.

The Court of Appeal has reduced the general damages payout to $600,000, and has found the special damages to have been wrongly awarded.

Speaking on behalf of Bauer Media, general counsel, Adrian Goss, said: “It was important for us to revisit the award of damages. The legal process has run its course and Bauer welcomes the court’s decision to set aside the entire award of damages for economic loss.

Goss also referenced the case’s broader implications for the media industry as a whole.

“We will consider the implications of the judgement in relation to the cap on defamation damages, which has broader implications for the media industry. In the lead up to today, major media organisations united in an unprecedented way to support Bauer’s appeal in relation to that issue.”

Wilson launched action against Bauer – which publishes Woman’s Day, Australian Women’s Weekly, New Weekly and OK Magazine – in May 2016.

Wilson alleged she was defamed in several articles published in 2015, including a Woman’s Day story titled ‘Just who is the REAL Rebel?’

The articles alleged Wilson had lied about her age, her name and her upbringing in Australia, and were featured across Australian magazines, including Bauer’s Australian Women’s Weekly, New Weekly and OK Magazine.

Wilson argued the ‘serial liar’ allegations had ruined her reputation and cost her lucrative movie roles.

Wilson was not in court for the ruling in Melbourne this morning.


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