Actress Rebel Wilson ordered to repay $4.2 million of record defamation payout

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Rebel Wilson has been ordered to pay back the majority of the $4.7 million defamation payout she won from Bauer Media last year.

The Australian comedienne won the record-breaking sum in September after she sued Bauer bosses over a series of magazine articles claiming she lied about her age and background. She was originally awarded more than $4.7 million after a court in Victoria, Australia agreed with her that the stories had damaged her reputation and cost her movie roles.

However, earlier this month, Bauer won their appeal against the size of the payout. According to The Guardian, on June 26, 2018, Victoria’s Court of Appeal ordered Rebel to repay $4.2 million – a sum covering $3.9 million in damages relating to loss of income, legal fees, and interest.

Rebel Wilson launched action Bauer Media, the publisher of Woman’s Day, over a series of articles she alleges portrayed her as a serial liar and cost her movie roles in Hollywood.

Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

The Pitch Perfect actress did not dispute the decision she should repay the damages but argued interest should be charged at 1.5 per cent rather than the 2 per cent sought by lawyers for the media company.

Court officials disagreed and also ordered her to pay 80 per cent of the legal fees incurred by Bauer’s appeal.

The firm paid the $4.7 million within three weeks of the original judgment – money Rebel said she wanted to hand to charities and Australian film industry organizations. The sum was an Australian record – as a judge ruled her global reputation meant a $306,000 cap on damages did not apply.

However, their appeal resulted in it being drastically slashed to $455,000.

Addressing her fans on Twitter before the ruling earlier this month, she reiterated that she had won her case still hoped to make donations to charity.

“While this case was never about the money for me, I do hope to receive as much as possible to give away to charities and to support the Australian film industry,” she explained.

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