Actress Rebel Wilson wins defamation case against publisher
MELBOURNE: Rebel Wilson on Thursday won a defamation trial against a magazine publisher that the Australian actress accused of costing her Hollywood roles through articles that claimed she lied about her age, origins of her first name and her upbringing in Sydney.
The Victoria state Supreme Court jury of six women deliberated for two days before delivering its verdict against Bauer Media, publisher of Australian magazines Woman’s Day, Australian Women’s Weekly, NW and OK.
Justice John Dixon will decide later how much money to award the 37-year-old actress, best known for her work in comedies “Pitch Perfect” and “Bridesmaids.”
Outside court, Wilson said she felt the “stain” had been removed from her reputation.
“The reason I’m here is not for damages, it’s to clear my name,” Wilson told reporters. “I was hoping the jury would do the right thing and send a message to these tabloids and they’ve done that so for me, it’s over in my mind.”
Bauer failed to prove the articles published in 2015 were substantially true or that they were unlikely to harm her career.
The jury found Bauer had said Wilson lied about her age, claiming to be six years younger, and had falsely claimed to have been named Rebel at birth.
They also found Bauer had said Wilson lied about having a hallucination about winning an Academy Award while sick with malaria, about her parents being dog trainers, about being related to U.S. entertainment entrepreneur Walt Disney and about being raised in a “ghetto” area of Sydney.
Wilson blamed the articles for her film contracts being terminated.