On Wednesday, September 13, judge John Dixon of the Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, issued a judgement against Bauer Media and for actress Rebel Wilson, ordering the media company to pay $3.6 million – 4.56 million Australian dollars – in damages.
In June, the court had reached the conclusion that Bauer Media, through articles published in Australian magazines such as Woman’s Day, Australian Women’s Weekly, NW and OK, had damaged Wilson’s career, causing film contracts to be terminated.
The articles included false information about the 37-year-old actress:
- That Rebel Wilson was six-years younger than what she claimed she was
- That she had lied about Rebel being her birth name
- That she lied about hallucinating that she was winning an Academy award while she was sick with malaria
- That she lied about her parents’ occupation – dog trainers
- That she lied about being distant relative of Walt Disney
- That she lied about spending her childhood in a Sydney ghetto
All these were presented as lies by Bauer Media, and, in court, Rebel Wilson and her lawyer proved that it was Bauer who misinformed the public. Not only that, but the Bridesmaids actress managed to present enough evidence that her career suffered as a result of those articles.
Georgina Schoff, the lawyer of Bauer Media, said that Wilson did not offer substantial evidence that she suffered financial losses as a result of the articles and that the sum she was seeking in damages was “extraordinarily large”, made on the “most tenuous of basis.”
Wilson’s lawyer, Richard Leder, explained the trial was not about the money, but about “holding Bauer Media to account.”
The actress tweeted that the money earned in this case will be donated or invested. “I’m looking forward to helping out some great Australian charities and supporting the Oz film industry with the damages I’ve received.”