Rebel Wilson Libel Lawsuit Payout Is Unprecedented But Well Deserved
Updated, Sept. 13, 2017, 8:50 a.m. PT: Rebel Wilson has been given a record payout in the libel case she won in June against Bauer Media: $3.6 million plus court costs and interest. It's more than has ever been awarded in an Australian defamation case, the BBC reported Wednesday.
Wilson had originally asked for $7 million, but before the case went to trial, offered to settle for only $200,000. Bauer Media rejected her settlement offer and maintained that the articles it published about her lying repeatedly about personal details were not defamatory.
In a series of tweets, Wilson wrote that the payout is "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." She continued, "When the jury delivered its verdict they answered every single point in my favour. 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 accepted without qualification that I had an extremely high reputation and that the damage inflicted on me was substantial. He said the nature of the aggravated defamation and the unprecedented extent of dissemination makes vindication of particular importance."
Despite the huge payout, Wilson said she plans to give all the money to charity.
Remember that little media blitz a couple of years ago when the whole internet lit up because it thought Rebel Wilson lied about her age?
Turns out that wasn't true at all. And Wilson brought a defamation suit against the media company that made it up and just won the case.
An all-female jury in Australia took two days to reach a verdict in favor of Wilson against Bauer Media after a three-week trial. Wilson and her legal team were fighting claims made by the company that she lied about her age, name and upbringing and that she lost two movie roles because of the scandal.
On Wednesday night, she posed with her legal team for a photo she posted to Instagram, thanking them for their hard work on the case and her fans for their support through it all.
"Just crushed my defamation case in Australia," Wilson wrote. "Thank you to all my family, friends and supporters! I had to take a stand. I had to stand up to a bully, a media organization Bauer Media Group who maliciously took me down in May 2015 with a series of grubby and completely false articles."
She continued, "Far too often tabloid magazines and the 'journalists' who work for them don't abide by professional ethics. Far too often their conduct can only be described as disgraceful and disgusting! I'm glad that the lovely ladies of the jury have agreed with me. Their unanimous and overwhelming verdict has sent a clear message. I love my job as an actress and as an entertainer, and I look forward to rebuilding my career now that the record has been set straight. Thank you so much everybody!"
No damages have been set yet for the case, but Wilson doesn't seem too worried about that.
"For me the main thing is to set the record straight," she told reporters after the verdict.
Don't mess with Rebel Wilson, y'all.