Rebel Wilson's legal battle is over after being dismissed from the High Court
Written on the 16 November 2018 by David Simmons
Rebel Wilson says she is happy that her long legal bout with Bauer Media is over despite stumbling at the final appeal in the High Court today.
The actress failed in her bid to appeal her case regarding defamation damages in the High Court this morning, bringing the lengthy saga to a close.
The appeal followed a court order for Wilson to pay back millions of dollars to Bauer Media which was found to have defamed her in a series of pieces in 2015.
Wilson was initially ordered $4.7 million, of which most was ordered to be paid back to Bauer by the Court of Appeal.
The initial payout amount was the largest defamation damages every ordered by an Australia court.
Speaking outside of the High Court this morning, Wilson says she is glad the ordeal is over.
"This has been a long fight and a long journey in the courts, but the great thing about today is that it brings it to a definitive end," says Wilson.
"The whole reason for bringing this case is that I wanted to stand up to a bully, which is Bauer Media."
"At the end of the day the jury restored my reputation, I've moved on personally and professionally."
"Today was just about a small point of special damages and for me it was never about the money, it was about standing up to a bully and I've done that."
In late 2017, Wilson argued she was entitled to this amount after a jury found she missed out of roles because of a series of articles published by Woman's Day, Women's Weekly, OK Magazine, and New Weekly.
The articles claimed Wilson was lying about her age, real name, and childhood experiences.
Justice John Dixon, in his original take on the case, said the $4.7 million was reasonable considering the international reach of the articles and the impact they had on Wilson's career.
Dixon harshly criticised Bauer Media for their handling of the situation and for publishing claims made about Wilson despite knowing they were untrue and defamatory.
"They repeated the offending allegations when they knew or foresaw that their defamatory slurs would be repeated in the entertainment and celebrity media," says Dixon.
"Their conduct was orchestrated, it was a campaign designed to cast a slur on Ms Wilson, that would attract interest."
"Bauer Media published to advance its own corporate interests, to improve its circulation, or increase views, hits, in the expectation of high profits."
After Wilson won her defamation case in June, chief executive of Bauer Media Nick Chan stepped down.
The Court of Appeal ordered Wilson to pay back $4.1 million of the $4.7 million as well as 80 per cent of Bauer Media's legal costs.
Now that Wilson has failed to succeed in the High Court she has exhausted her legal options in regard to recouping the $4.1 million and will only receive $600,000 in damages.
Business News Australia
Author: David Simmons