Hollywood star Rebel Wilson has been awarded a record-breaking $4.5 million payout after proving the publishers of Woman’s Day ruined her reputation and branded her as a serial liar.
The Australian-born, US-based actor and star of megahit film Pitch Perfect has previously said the case was never about money – it was about holding “bully” tabloid magazines to account.
“I’m looking forward to helping out some great Australian charities and supporting the Oz film industry with the damages I’ve received,” the 37-year-old tweeted from London.
“To me though, this case wasn’t about the money,” she said in a series of tweets.
The star said she was looking forward to getting back to her career and “entertaining everyone”.
Wilson proved to an all-female jury in June that Bauer Media, which also publishes Australian Women’s Weekly, OK! and NW magazines, defamed her when it published eight articles claiming she lied about her real name, age and childhood.
On Wednesday in the Supreme Court of Victoria, Justice John Dixon said because of Bauer’s conduct, the usual cap of $389,500 in general damages for defamation did not apply.
He awarded the star $650,000 in general damages and $3,917,472 in special damages because of her lost opportunities to land movie roles after the defamatory articles were published.
Justice Dixon said Bauer failed to properly investigate allegations that Wilson was a liar, published them knowing the slurs to be false, and kept the “offending allegations” going for days.
“Ms Wilson’s reputation as an actress of integrity was wrongly damaged,” he said.
Because of that, he said a substantial amount would be required to vindicate her.