Well done Rebel,.. good to see someone stand up to these flogs and teach them a lesson. Good to see, & I hope it encourages others to do the same.
Att: James Hird, Bomber Thomson,.. et al.
Rebel Wilson wins defamation case against magazine publisher Bauer Media
By Emma Younger
Updated 25 minutes ago
Rebel Wilson has won her defamation case against magazine publisher Bauer Media over a series of articles the Hollywood actress claimed damaged her career by depicting her as a serial liar.
In an at-times bizarre Victorian Supreme Court trial, the 37-year-old Australian sued over eight articles which appeared in Woman's Day, Women's Weekly, OK Magazine and New Weekly in 2015.
The articles said Wilson had publicly lied about her age, real name and upbringing, and alleged she had added a "touch of Hollywood" to her backstory.
She returned to Melbourne from Los Angeles to give evidence at the three-week trial in which she made jokes, rapped an Academy Award acceptance speech she claims to have hallucinated years earlier, and broke down in tears several times.
Outside the court, Wilson said it had been a long, hard fight but she felt she had to take a stand.
"I had to stand up to a bully, a huge media organisation, Bauer Media Group, who maliciously took me down in 2015 with a series of grubby and completely false articles," she said.
"Far too often I feel the tabloid magazines and the journalists who work for them don't abide by professional ethics. Far too often I feel their conduct can only be described as disgusting and disgraceful.
"I'm glad, very glad, that the jury has agreed with me and by their unanimous overwhelming verdict they have sent a very, very clear message."
Justice John Dixon is now tasked with assessing the amount of damages to award the actress.
In a statement, Bauer Media said it would continue its options following the verdict. The company said it had no further comment at this time.
The jury was shown childhood photos of the actress in a bid to prove her stories were true, including a young Wilson competing as a junior handler at dog shows, in a cage with a lion and in a South African hospital recovering from malaria.
The actress told the trial the articles were a "malicious, deliberate take-down" published to coincide with the release of her biggest movie role to date and designed to sell as many copies as possible.
She alleged they resulted in her being sacked from DreamWorks animated feature films Trolls and Kung Fu Panda 3 for being "too divisive", and she subsequently had to beg to work for free.
"After month after month, that all of a sudden doors that used to be open were shut and I basically had to beg to get back in the door … it became apparent that … [the articles] did a tremendous amount of damage," she told the jury.
But Bauer Media denied the articles had damaged Wilson's reputation and argued that, in any case, they were based in fact.
Woman's Day journalist denies 'hatchet job'
Woman's Day was the first of the publisher's magazines to allege Wilson had lied publicly about aspects of her life, including her age and real name.
One of the magazine's former journalists, Shari Nementzik, denied doing a "hatchet job" on the actress's reputation.
She said she had based the article on a source who had commented on the magazine's website in 2012, claiming she had gone to high school with the actress and "what a lier [sic] she has become!!"
INFOGRAPHIC: A Woman's Day journalist contacted the source after a comment was posted online. (Supplied: Victorian Supreme Court)
Nementzik told the court she did not think her source was "completely unreliable", and denied publishing information she knew was false.
She also denied breaching the code of ethics by leaving out relevant facts and not giving Wilson an opportunity to respond.
Wilson told the jury she believed the source was a disgruntled former classmate who was jealous of her success.
But Nementzik denied the article was a mean story from a source "with an axe to grind".