Actress Rebel Wilson wins defamation case

Rebel Wilson.
Rebel Wilson.

SYDNEY •Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson on Thursday won a lengthy defamation case against an Australian publisher that portrayed her as a serial liar, which she said had cost her lucrative movie roles.

The Pitch Perfect (2012) star sued Bauer Media over eight articles in Woman's Day, Australian Women's Weekly and OK Magazine in 2015, which her defence said "tore down an Australian star to sell magazines".

The stories claimed the Sydney- born actress, 37, lied about her name, age and background to advance her career in the United States.

Giving evidence during the three-week trial, often in tears, Wilson claimed she was sacked from DreamWorks' animated feature films Trolls (2016) and Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) following the articles.

Bauer denied the articles had damaged her reputation and argued that they were true. But Victoria's Supreme Court ruled she was defamed in all the eight pieces. The judge will decide on the penalty at a later date.

"Bauer Media took me down with a series of grubby and completely false articles," Wilson said outside the court.

"Far too often, I feel tabloid magazines and the journalists that work for them don't abide by professional ethics. Far too often, I can only describe their conduct as disgusting and disgraceful and I'm very glad that the jury has agreed with me.

"With the unanimous and overwhelming verdict, they have sent a very clear message."

Wilson, who will fly to New York to shoot a film with fellow Australian Liam Hemsworth, said she was grateful the drama was over. "It's a win for everyone who gets maliciously taken down when there's no reason why that should happen," she said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2017, with the headline 'Actress Rebel Wilson wins defamation case'. Print Edition | Subscribe