If you thought the whole Rebel Wilson/Bauer Media spat had been put to bed then think again.
Last night, Wilson used an appearance on Ten’s The Project to unload on the German publisher – and Australian media companies, generally – over the ongoing legal battle following her record $4.5 million defamation payment she was awarded in September last year.
As reported on B&T yesterday, Wilson and Bauer are currently back before the Melbourne Court of Appeal as the publisher fights to have the size of the payout reduced. It is not seeking to change the verdict.
Yesterday, Wilson’s barrister, Matthew Collins QC, told the hearing the payout was within the appropriate range “if not conservative”.
Wilson telling The Project’s panel: “I’ve been in court all day today before coming here, for the appeal.
“This is a huge media organisation owned by German billionaires. Which means they can afford to pay, by the way. And they kind of bullied and intimidated me, they didn’t want me to sue them publicly. I felt like it was the right thing to do.
“And personally because I feel that this was also the right thing to do, to give the money to charity, to turn something that was really, really hurtful and devastating to myself, if I can somehow give back to Australians, I can turn it into a positive thing,” she said.
Wilson then slammed a concerted effort by a number of Australia’s biggest media organisations that were concerned by the size of her defamation and the impact, they believed, it would have on freedom of speech.
The cohort includes Channel Nine, Seven, Fairfax, News Corp, Macquarie Media and the ABC.
“That’s especially when all of the major media organisations except for (The Project’s) Channel Ten, which was the only sensible one, tried to join in the case against me. Purely because of corporate greed and they don’t want to take responsibility when they make mistakes,” Wilson said.
“That is awful. It’s not a great feeling. I know a lot of Australian celebrities have been driven out of Australia because of negative treatment by the media. That’s sad, because Australia is an awesome country.
“So many high profile and not high profile people have had crap written about them,” she said. “It’s really hard to bring a court case; it’s taxing, it involves your whole family, you have to be in court. It’s very, very expensive and I just thought I was uniquely suited to do it because I do have a law degree.”
“It was hard when it seemed for a second the whole Australian media apart from Channel Ten was trying to sue me. But to me you can’t take it personally,” she said. “It’s more about I have set this huge precedent and they’re unhappy.
“So many journalists do great stories, honest, good people. So yes, so you’ve got to balance it up. You know, I love telling people about my projects and what I have happening. You have to get out there,” Wilson said.