Following on from her win over Bauer Media for defamation last Thursday, Rebel Wilson’s lawyers are playing hardball when it comes to getting their client a multi-million payout from the publisher.
The judge in the case at the Victorian Supreme Court is presently hearing submissions from Wilson’s legal team regarding an appropriate payment to Wilson.
If the judge, John Dixon, finds that the defamatory articles only damaged Wilson’s reputation then a payout around $250-$500,000 is expected. However, if Wilson’s lawyer can prove, as Wilson claims, they cost her multi-million movie roles then the payout could hit the seven-figure mark.
Yesterday, Wilson’s legal team presented the judge with a report by Hollywood talent manager, Peter Principato, that reportedly had the talent scout agreeing that the Bauer articles had cost Wilson roles that could’ve seen her earn as much as $6 million.
However, Bauer’s defence lawyer, Georgina Schoff QC, labelled Principato’s claims as “completely lacking in substance” and was made-up of “mere speculation”.
“In the end, all he does is speculate. He says ‘I would’ve expected her to receive more roles, and she wasn’t. I can’t think of any other reason why’,”Schoff said.
Schoff added that the evidence was unclear as to what roles Wilson went for or her suitability. The court also heard Wilson was beaten to the lead role in the recent film Snatched starring Amy Schumer.
“Maybe Ms Schumer was cheaper, there may be any number of reasons why Ms Schumer was more appropriate,” Schoff said. “There must be a number of factors at play in the casting of roles in Hollywood generally.”
However, Wilson’s lawyer, Matthew Collins QC, shot back saying Principato was a two-decade Hollywood veteran who represented over 50 top line stars meaning his opinion held considerable weight. Collins agreed that the Bauer articles may not have been the sole reason Wilson missed out on film roles, but they had a “grapevine” effect which made them a contributing factor.
Judge Dixon agreed Principato’s evidence was admissible and he will reportedly give evidence via videolink from the US today. The hearing continues.