Defamed Rebel Wilson could get millions

Section
Celebrity,
Publish Date
Friday, 16 June 2017, 11:19AM

Rebel Wilson could be awarded million of dollars in damages after her epic court win against Bauer Media.

The 37-year-old actress emerged from the courtroom victorious yesterday after an all-female jury found she was defamed by a series of articles published in Woman's Day in 2015 that claimed she had lied about her age and background to further her Hollywood career.

Wilson told reporters waiting outside court that, "I felt that I had to take a stand, I had to stand up to a bully".

Judge John Dixon will assess damages at a later date but media lawyer Justin Quill told 3AW this morning the actress "could get something in the millions of dollars".

"Defamation in Australia is capped for normal damages at just over $380,000," Mr Quill said, "but if you can prove that you've lost money, lost a contract or a job, then you get the value of that contract or job".

"In her case, knowing the sort of money she can earn, that could be millions. So you've got normal damages and you've got special damages and the real question is whether she gets special damages because that's where the big money is."

Mr Quill told 3AW's Ross and John that he doesn't think Wilson will be awarded special damages and will instead walk away with $250,000 plus all court costs.

The court case has set an interesting precedent in Australia and entertainment reporter Peter Ford expects similar court cases launched by celebrities could follow.

"I think a lot of people like Bec and Lleyton, Nicole and Keith, Samantha Armytage and Karl Stefanovic, all of them are going to think, 'Maybe we don't have to sit back and take it'," Mr Ford said on Sunrise.

"Now you'd be foolish to just jump in and say, 'Well, Rebel won so we'll win as well,' but nonetheless it would feel quite empowering, I would suggest."

Just crushed my defamation case in Australia x 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. 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!

A post shared by Rebel Wilson (@rebelwilson) on

This morning Russell Crowe tweeted his congratulations to Rebel Wilson and told the star he is "proud of her".

"Hey @RebelWilson, so brave, so much integrity ... now "f**k o**" back to Hollywood and be your brilliant self. Proud of you," the Gladiator star wrote on Twitter.

Former The Biggest Loser host, Ajay Rochester, tweeted at Wilson, writing, "Your win today is a win for those of us who have had our careers/lives destroyed and couldn't afford to fight. Thank you!"