Rebel Wilson awarded $4.56 million after defamation win

Rebel Wilson has been awarded $4.56 million after successfully suing the publisher of Woman's Day over a series of defamatory articles.

In June, a six-person jury found that the Pitch Perfect star was defamed by Bauer Media in eight articles because they branded her a serial liar.

On Wednesday, Victorian Supreme Court Justice John Dixon determined Wilson, 37, should receive $650,000 in general damages and $3.91 million in special damages.

It is the highest defamation payout in Australian legal history.

Wilson's legal team had argued for $5.89 million in special damages and $1.2 million in general damages. Her barrister, Dr Matthew Collins, had said the $7 million figure was "conservative" because it was difficult to determine exactly what kind of film contracts his client missed out on as a result of the defamatory articles.

Justice Dixon said the damage to Ms Wilson's reputation was "unprecedented" and she suffered "financial loss" as a result of the articles being amplified by Hollywood gossip sites.

"Substantial damages are necessary to compensate her," he said.

The court heard that, before trial, Wilson was willing to settle for $200,000. Her barrister has also applied for Bauer Media to pay his client's legal costs.

Outside court, Wilson's instructing solicitor, Richar Leder, said his client would be absolutely thrilled with the decision.

He said the damages were four times the previous record for defamation damages in Australia.

In a statement released after the decision was handed down, Bauer Media's general counsel Adrian Goss said the company was considering the judgment.

"Bauer Media has a long history of delivering great stories to our readers and we have a reputation for developing some of the best editorial teams in this country. This is what we are focused on," he said.

"It is about continuing to do what we do best and that is delivering great content to more than 85 per cent of Australian women across the country via our iconic portfolio."

Wilson has promised to give the money from her defamation win to charity.

She also said she would use the funds to create scholarships and invest in Australia's film industry in the hope of creating more opportunities for up-and-coming actors.

"I take being a role model very seriously," she said.

Wilson is holidaying in Europe after filming her upcoming romantic comedy Isn't It Romantic.

On Wednesday evening Wilson shared her thoughts on the outcome of the case on Twitter.

In a long series of tweets she said she was pleased with the outcome and reiterated her commitment to donating the money to charity.

"Today was the end of a long and hard court battle against Bauer Media who viciously tired to take me down with a series of false articles," she said.

"When the jury delivered its verdict they answered every single point in my favour. Today Justice Dixon accepted that Bauer Media subjected me to a sustained and malicious attack timed to coincide with the launch of Pitch 2. The judge accepted without qualification that I had an extremely high reputation and that the damage inflicted on me was substantial.

"He said the nature of the aggravated defamation and the unprecedented extent of dissemination makes vindication of particular importance. The judge said he knew that the info from anonymous paid source was false. And that Bauer Media traded recklessly on my reputation in order to boost its own profits.

"Justice Dixon has awarded me a record sum and I'm extremely grateful for that. It is 4 times the Australian record.

"To me though, this case wasn't about the money. I'm looking forward to helping out some great Australian charities and supporting the Oz film industry with the damages I've received."

This story Rebel Wilson awarded $4.56 million after defamation win first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.