Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Court slashes Rebel Wilson payout by $3.9 million

Wilson speaks to the media outside court after her initial victory Wilson speaks to the media outside court after her initial victory
Charles Bowen | 14 June, 2018, 11:20

In June a year ago a six-person jury found in favour of Wilson's claim against the publisher of Woman's Day and the Australian Women's Weekly.

Which means Wilson's lawyers are heading back to court on Thursday when the decision on that damages appeal is handed down - and they're going without Wilson, because hey, she's in Prague, remember?

"The trial judge erred in finding the plaintiff had established, on the balance of probabilities, the loss of an opportunity to earn US$15 million from being cast in lead or co-lead roles in three feature films", the judgment said.

But today's appeal decision sets aside the special damages payout for economic loss and also cuts $50,000 off the general damages, concluding that "there was no basis in the evidence for making any award of damages for economic loss".

Bauer did not appeal the verdict that the articles were defamatory, but argued the Australian-record damages awarded in September were excessive.

More news: Kim summit helped world avoid nuclear catastrophe

The jury had been asked to consider 40 questions and eight claims of defamation relating to a series of articles accusing Wilson of lying about her age, real name and childhood. It had been the largest defamation payout in Australian legal history, according to the Herald.

She took to social media on Wednesday night to say regardless of the outcome she had "already won the case".

At the time, Wilson tweeted she would be donating the money to Australian charities and supporting the Australian film industry with the money.

A court had ordered Bauer to pay her A$4.5m (£2.7m; $3.6m) - a record for an Australian defamation case.

The judge who determined the initial payout had relied on testimony from Wilson and two Hollywood agents that the articles, which were not published in the United States, still would have influenced movie industry decision makers, the appeals court judges added.

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