It’s the court case that keeps on giving, and Rebel Wilson’s defamation case against Bauer Media once again provided in spades yesterday after the actress described Bauer journalists as “vultures” who set out to “orchestrate an attack” on the Hollywood star.
Wilson, of course, is suing Bauer Media in the Victorian Supreme Court over articles in Woman’s Day and Women’s Weekly that portrayed her as a serial liar who’d lied her way into movie roles.
Wilson claims the articles were based on interviews with an obsessed ex-school mate who’d come to despise the actress’s success and who wanted to “make a quick buck” by selling the trumped-up allegations to any media outlet who’d pay for them.
“I feel like they are a bunch of women who don’t know me,” Wilson said in court yesterday. “They did not try to contact me or my family, I just feel so distraught about why those women orchestrated an attack on me. I feel very hurt by it.
“If it was their daughter or their cousin that made it big they would not be doing it. To ruin my reputation when I have worked so hard at this point for 17 years every day,” she said.
Wilson, who at times was visibly upset, claimed the articles destroyed her reputation and she had struggled to find work since their publication. She also outlined a number of health issues, including eczema, a stress rash and a urinary tract infection, following the publication.
Emails tended in court yesterday reveal the source of the articles, who asked for “maximum payment”, approached Bauer with the story some two years earlier. However, the Woman’s Day journalist, Shari Nementzik, responded at the time that the information was “too problematic” and Bauer “risked being sured”.
However, the story resurfaced in May 2015 just as Wilson’s new film Pitch Perfect 2 had been released.
“They did risk it two years later and here I am now,” Wilson told the jury.
“If [the journalist] did about five minutes’ research on the internet she could have worked out that there are problems with the story.”
Wilson added she hoped the story would be contained in Australia, however, a day after it was published, it was being discussed on American television and radio.
Bauer denies the articles were defamatory and have even called them trivial. Wilson is expected to give more evidence today and has said she will sit through the entire trial expected to last three weeks.