Actress Rebel Wilson has returned to court to fight an appeal by Bauer Media over her record $4.5 million defamation payout.
The warring parties were back in Melbourne’s Court of Appeal yesterday with Wilson attending alongside her $9000-a-day-legal team.
In September last year, Wilson successfully sued the magazine publisher over a series of articles in its weekly magazines that portrayed the actor as a serial liar. The 38-year-old claimed the damaging articles ruined her reputation and lost her significant roles in Hollywood.
Wilson was awarded the record payout plus legal costs totalling $650,000. Interestingly, Wilson had attempted to initially settle out of court for just $200,000.
Outside the court, Wilson said: “Obviously we are feeling very confident going into this today. It’s just part of the process, so I’ve got to do it.
“Obviously (Bauer) maliciously defamed me and I’m here to hold them accountable for that and even though they still continue to fight me I feel confident that the court of appeal will make the right decision,” she said.
Bauer is attempting to argue that the $4.5 million awarded to Wilson is excessive and ignored the state’s general defamation damages cap of $389,500.
Yesterday, Bauer Media barrister Michael Wheelahan QC said the publisher wasn’t challenging the verdict only the payout figure.
“It’s our submission that a fair and reasonable assessment of damages was in the range of $250,000 to $300,000,” Wheelahan was quoted in The Australian as saying.
He added that Wilson’s claims that the articles had destroyed her career in Hollywood were unfounded and noted she’d starred in Isn’t It Romantic and a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels during that period.
“Having regard to the fact the respondent was successful … counter-indicates there was any shunning and avoiding that led to any economic loss,” Wheelahan said. The hearing continues.