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Appeal over Rebel’s massive payout

REBEL Wilson's defamation battles looks set to go back to court, with magazine giant Bauer Media announcing it will appeal Wilson's record $4.5 million defamation win.

In a media statement, Bauer said it "will be appealing the quantum of damages in the defamation judgement".

Bauer Media general counsel Adrian Gross said: "It's important for us to revisit this unprecedented decision on the quantum of damages, which also had broad implications for the media industry".

Bauer will not seek to appeal against liability, but sources close to the case say the company remains concerned by the outcome including Justice John Dixon's decision to ignore a statutory cap on defamation payouts, according to the Herald Sun.

Last month, Wilson won Australia's highest-ever defamation payout after successfully suing

Bauer Media over a series of defamatory articles.

A Supreme Court judge claimed the extent of Wilson's defamation was "unprecedented" and warranted substantial damages - to the tune of more than $4.5 million - after the jury found articles published in Woman's Day, Australian Women's Weekly, New Weekly and OK! unfairly painted her as a serial liar who'd faked her way to Hollywood.

It was a stunning decision, with suggestions both Bauer and Wilson's own lawyers were surprised by the amount.

Wilson, 37, had claimed more than $7 million in damages after a jury found she was maliciously defamed by four Bauer publications.

Her lawyers told the court that before the trial Wilson had offered to settle for $200,000 over a series of defamatory articles in published in Woman's Day, Australian Women's Weekly, New Weekly and OK!

The jury found the articles unfairly painted her as a serial liar who had faked her way to a Hollywood career.

Justice John Dixon was scathing of Bauer's "campaign" against Rebel to pursue its own corporate objectives and said the extent of Wilson's defamation was "unprecedented" in this country and warranted substantial damages.

Wilson pledged to donate every cent to charity and the Aussie film industry after her trial.

Legislation establishes a cap on the amount a court may award in defamation proceedings for non-economic loss.

A court can order judgments that exceed the $389,500 cap if the court is satisfied that the circumstances warrant an award of aggravated damages.

Topics:  appeal damages defamation dollars editors picks millions rebel wilson supreme court victoria

News Corp Australia


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