Rebel Wilson’s record $4.5m damages win for defamation by Bauer Media has been reduced to just $600,000 on appeal.
The Hollywood star has been left with an award of $600,ooo for general damages only after her claim for special damages was rejected by three judges of the appeals court.
The Victorian supreme court ruled on Thursday morning that the Australian actor had not proved that she lost work and suffered economic damages in Hollywood as a result of the defamatory articles which painted her as a serial liar.
Wilson said on social media on Wednesday that she had already won her defamation trial and she hoped the court would uphold her damages payment so she could donate the money to charity and towards developing the Australian film industry.
But the judge accepted Bauer’s argument that there was insufficient evidence Wilson lost millions in potential earnings as result of several defamatory articles in Australian magazines.
She was awarded more than $4.5m in damages by Justice John Dixon plus interest and court costs, in her libel case against the magazine publisher.
The award comprised $600,000 in general damages, including aggravated damages, and $3,917,472 in special damages for opportunities of screen roles lost because of the articles.
In June last year a six-person jury found in favour of Wilson’s claim against the publisher of Woman’s Day and the Australian Women’s Weekly.
The jury had been asked to consider 40 questions and eight claims of defamation relating to a series of articles accusing Wilson of lying about her age, real name and childhood.
More to come