SYDNEY, Australia – Hollywood actor Rebel Wilson has vowed to hand the largest defamation payout in Australian history to charity, as she works to get her career back on track after a "long, hard" battle.
The 37-year-old "Pitch Perfect" star successfully sued Bauer Media over magazine articles which claimed she had lied about her age and background to further her acting career.
On Wednesday, September 13, a judge awarded her Aus$4.5 million ($3.6 million) in damages against the Australian publisher – a record sum, her lawyers said.
"I’m looking forward to helping out some great Australian charities and supporting the Oz film industry with the damages I’ve received," Wilson tweeted.
I’m looking forward to helping out some great Australian charities and supporting the Oz film industry with the damages I’ve received. — Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) September 13, 2017
"Also looking forward to getting back to my career and entertaining everyone!"
Also looking forward to getting back to my career and entertaining everyone! — Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) September 13, 2017
Today was 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. When the jury delivered its verdict they answered every single question in my favor. I am eternally grateful to those ladies. Today Justice Dixon gave his considered full judgement. He accepted that Bauer Media subjected me to a sustained and malicious attack timed precisely to the launch of Pitch Perfect 2. It was hurtful and devastating that a corporation would do something like that, knowing that their paid anonymous source and stories were dodgy. The learned judge accepted without qualification that I had an extremely high reputation and that the damage inflicted on me was substantial. He said that the nature of this aggravated defamation and the unprecedented extent of its dissemination (meaning it caused a worldwide media firestorm) makes vindication of particular importance. It was important for me to set the record straight, especially because I have so many young fans. I also feel like it's important to stand up to bullies. I have been awarded a record sum from Justice Dixon. I will be putting that money to good use by donating it to charity and investing in an Australian film ( but obviously can't say exactly or do anything now as I won't receive the money until everything is finalized). I thank Justice Dixon so much. And I'm looking forward to getting back to entertaining everyone! A post shared by Rebel Wilson (@rebelwilson) on Sep 13, 2017 at 5:28am PDT
Bauer had argued the allegations made in Woman's Day, Australian Women's Weekly and OK Magazine in 2015 were true and denied they had damaged Wilson's reputation.
But Justice John Dixon said Bauer had "acted in its own corporate interests to secure improved circulation, or increased views/hits" in his ruling.
"Justice Dixon has awarded me a record sum and I’m extremely grateful for that. It is four times the Australian record," said Sydney-born Wilson.
"To me though, this case wasn’t about the money."
Justice Dixon has awarded me a record sum and I’m extremely grateful for that. It is 4 times the Australian record. — Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) September 13, 2017
To me though, this case wasn’t about the money. — Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) September 13, 2017
Throughout the 3-week trial, an often-emotional Wilson claimed she was sacked from DreamWorks animated feature films Trolls and Kung Fu Panda 3 following the articles.
She is due to star in Pitch Perfect 3 this year, along with a remake of comedy classic Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. – Rappler.com