Rebel Wilson awarded $4.56 million after defamation win

Hollywood actor Rebel Wilson has promised to donate the damages to charity.  Photo: Eddie Jim
Hollywood actor Rebel Wilson has promised to donate the damages to charity. Photo: Eddie Jim

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 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 the 37-year-old should receive $650,000 in general damages and $3.97 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.

Wilson's barrister has also applied for Bauer Media to pay his client's legal costs.

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.