Rebel Wilson always claimed her defamation case against Bauer Media was “never about the money”. However, it could soon be all about the cash with reports the actor could win a payout in the many millions.
After a month-long trial in the Victorian Supreme Court, a six-woman jury unanimously found eight articles published in Woman’s Day, Australian Women’s Weekly, NW and OK magazine in May 2015 defamed the star and painted her as a serial liar.
Wilson, who’d attended every day of the trial, said outside the court following her win that she’d always been “confident from the start” of being vindicated.
“The reason I’m here is not for damages, it’s to clear my name. I was hoping the jury would do the right thing and send a message to these tabloids and they’ve done that so for me, it’s over in my mind,” Wilson said, adding it was important to stand up to a “bully” who’d damaged her career.
It’s understood that the judge in the case, John Dixon, could announce Wilson’s payout as early as today. During the trial a Bauer insider revealed to B&T that the publisher was planning on a payout in the vicinity of $700,000 if it were to lose the case. Following yesterday’s decision Bauer issued a statement that said it was “considering its options”.
The problem Bauer has is that according to Victorian law people who are successful in defamation cases can receive payouts capped at $400,000 for personal pain and suffering.
However, Wilson claimed the defamatory articles not only caused her personal hurt but severely impacted her career causing her to lose significant Hollywood movie roles.
Because she’s claiming both damage to her reputation and loss of earnings then there is no cap on any payout, meaning Wilson stands to be awarded a multi-million sum.
An interview in today’s Fairfax media with celebrity agent Max Markson said if Wilson had lost movies roles as she’d suggested throughout the trial then that may well have cost her millions in earnings.
“She’s up there with people like Tina Fey, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore,” Markson told Fairfax.
“Once you start headlining a movie it’s not unusual to get $5 or $10 million per movie. The sort of money they are earning, annually, is tens of millions of dollars.”
Again, it is believed Judge Dixon will rule on damages today.