Day one of Rebel Wilson’s defamation case against Bauer Media has heard the Hollywood star’s legal team claim Woman’s Day “tore down an Australian star to sell magazines”.
In a sometimes fiery first day in Melbourne Supreme Court, Wilson’s barrister, Matthew Collins QC, said the hurt and damage Wilson received from articles portraying her as a serial liar had seen her “world collapse”.
Collins claimed the articles, dating back to May 2015 that inferred Wilson had lied about her age, schooling and upbringing, had a detrimental effect on her Hollywood career and she lost major roles because of it.
He added Woman’s Day editors had “timed its assault” to coincide with the launch of Wilson’s film Pitch Perfect 2 and cause maximum damage to her reputation. ““Everyone was saying that Rebel was a liar, the grapevine went beserk. This publisher refused to let the facts get in the way of a good story,” he said.
The allegations were later followed up by another Bauer publication, Women’s Weekly.
Wilson claimed the articles were so damaging she lost roles in major Hollywood films including voice parts for the kids’ cartoons Kung Fu Panda 3 and Trolls. “The phone just stopped ringing,” Collins said.
Other actors including Hugh Sheridan and Kate Jenkinson are apparently due in court to give evidence on behalf of Wilson.
However, Bauer is standing by the articles saying they are true and, in any case, the allegations were “trivial” and unlikely to cause Wilson any harm to her career or financially.
Bauer also claim Wilson’s defamation case is retribution against the publisher after it forced Wilson to retract an inflammatory tweet she made about a Bauer journalist. Wilson tweeted about the journalist, stating “here she is, total scum”, but got the woman’s identity wrong.
Both parties are due back in court today and the case is expected to run for the next three weeks.