Rebel Wilson‘s landmark defamation payout has had the axe taken to it by the Court of Appeal, who found critical errors in the original judgement and subsequently slashed the total amount awarded to her by around 90%.
Wilson’s case against Bauer Media had previous yielded a payout of $4.5million, which at the time was an Australian record for a defamation damages. Today’s ruling drastically reduces the amount Bauer must fork out down to just $600,000, in a ruling that rumbles Australia’s prohibitively strict defamation laws.
Justice John Dixon had originally ordered that Wilson be paid $650,000 in general damages, as well as $3,917,472 in special damages, the latter of which prompted an immediate appeal from Bauer officials.
Today’s ruling at the Court of Appeals slashed the general damages payout to $600,000, and totally sets aside the special damages payout, ruling that Wilson had not properly established that she had suffered significant economic damages via losing film roles as a result of Bauer’s coverage of her.
Wilson had initially taken the media group to court over a series of articles that she claims painted her as a serial liar who bluffed her way into Hollywood – chief among Bauer’s claims was that she had continuously lied about her age – and as a result was sacked from planned roles on the films Trolls and Kung Fu Panda 3.
Prior to today’s ruling, Wilson pre-emptively got ahead of things by tweeting victoriously from the set of Jojo Rabbit in Europe, asserting that the ruling in favour of her remains “unchallenged” and that she was never concerned about the monetary payout.
Wilson still maintains outward assertions that she will donate whatever payout she receives to charities, as well as reinvesting in the Australian film industry.