Rebel Wilson: Bauer Media to fight record defamation payout

Actress Rebel Wilson outside a Melbourne court in June. Image copyright Getty Images

A magazine publisher will appeal against a A$4.5m (£2.7m; $3.6m) defamation payout awarded to Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson.

Wilson was awarded the damages by an Australian court last month after arguing that she had been wrongly portrayed as a liar several articles.

The sum was a record for a defamation case in Australia.

On Monday, publisher Bauer Media said it would lodge an appeal.

“It’s important for us to revisit this unprecedented decision on the quantum of damages, which also has broad implications for the media industry,” a lawyer for the group, Adrian Goss, said in a statement.

Bauer Media argued during the case that the articles were not defamatory, but the appeal announced on Monday contests only the payout’s size.

In June, a jury ruled the eight articles had harmed the Australian actress’s career in Hollywood, where she has appeared in films such as Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect.

Wilson sought A$7m during the trial but had offered to settle for A$200,000 before taking the case to court.

In ordering the payout in September, Justice John Dixon said the defamation case had been “unprecedented in this country” because of its international reach.

“Ms Wilson’s reputation as an actress of integrity was wrongly damaged in a manner that affected her marketability in a huge worldwide audience,” he said.

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