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Rebel Wilson’s defamation payout from magazine publisher Bauer Media reduced on appeal


Updated

June 14, 2018 10:33:58

Actress Rebel Wilson’s record defamation payout from magazine publisher Bauer Media has been slashed from $4.5 million to just $600,000 by Victoria’s Court of Appeal.

The court set aside the decision to give Ms Wilson around $3.9 million for economic losses, and reduced the $650,000 compensation figure awarded to the actress for non-economic loss by $50,000.

The previous ruling granted her the $3.9 million figure on the basis she had missed out on film roles as a result of the defamatory articles.

However the Court of Appeal found “there was no basis in the evidence for making any award of damages for economic loss”.

It found the previous judge, Justice John Dixon of the Supreme Court, had relied on evidence from Ms Wilson and Hollywood agents to draw the conclusion that the actress had lost job opportunities due to the articles.

“For a considerable number of reasons, the critical inferences drawn by the judge could not be upheld,” the summary of judgment said.

“It followed that the judge’s award of damages for economic loss had to be set aside.”

The original damages sum awarded to Ms Wilson last September was the largest defamation payment ever ordered by an Australian court, and several media organisations questioned whether the decision set a new precedent for defamation payments.

In its appeal against the decision, Bauer Media argued that the $4.5 million payout was excessive and should be set aside due to errors in fact and law.

More to come.

Topics:

courts-and-trials,

law-crime-and-justice,

media,

print-media,

melbourne-3000,

vic

First posted

June 14, 2018 10:14:00



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