Rebel Wilson has won a record payout, plus interest and court costs, in her libel case against Bauer Media. She has been awarded AUS$4.5m (about $3.6 million in USD) — the largest sum for a defamation case in Australian history, the BBC reported.
The Hollywood actress had argued that eight articles published by the media company in 2015 had wrongly presented her as a serial liar and caused her to be sacked from two films, stifling her career.
A six-person jury unanimously sided with Wilson in June, after they were asked to consider 40 questions and eight defamation claims linked to the articles which accused the actor of serially lying about her age, real name and childhood.
Speaking on Wednesday, Justice John Dixon called the defamation case "unprecedented in this country" because of its international reach. He said the damage inflicted on Wilson warranted the “substantial” payment of A$4,567,472, plus interest and court costs, which would be determined at a later date.
"Substantial vindication can only be achieved by an award of damages that underscores that Ms. Wilson's reputation as an actress of integrity was wrongly damaged in a manner that affected her marketability in a huge worldwide marketplace," the judge said.
The Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect star had wanted A$7m during the trial but had previously offered to settle for A$200,000 before it went to court, reported the BBC. Bauer Media always denied the articles were defamatory.
Wilson was not in court on Wednesday but later posted a series of tweets relating to the verdict. She said Bauer Media had "viciously tried to take [her] down with a series of false articles" and that the judge had vindicated her arguments.
Despite having been awarded a record sum, Wilson added that "the case wasn't about the money" and that she will give the money away to Australian charities and the country's film industry.
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