Australian publisher to challenge record Rebel Wilson payout

Actress Rebel Wilson arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California, on February 28, 2016. (File photo by Reuters)
Updated 09 October 2017
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Australian publisher to challenge record Rebel Wilson payout

SYDNEY: A leading publisher said Monday it would appeal Australia’s largest defamation payout awarded to Hollywood actor Rebel Wilson as the “unprecedented” amount had major implications for the media industry.
The “Pitch Perfect” star was awarded Aus$4.5 million ($3.5 million) in damages against Bauer Media by an Australian court last month over magazine articles claiming she lied about her age and background to further her career.
“It’s important for us to revisit this unprecedented decision on the quantum of damages, which also has broad implications for the media industry,” Bauer Media’s General Counsel Adrian Goss said in a brief statement.
In his ruling, Supreme Court of Victoria Justice John Dixon said Bauer — which owns magazines Woman’s Day, Australian Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan — had “acted in its own corporate interests to secure improved circulation, or increased views/hits.”
Bauer argued the allegations made in Woman’s Day, Australian Women’s Weekly and OK Magazine in 2015 were true and denied they had damaged 37-year-old Wilson’s reputation.
Bauer’s parent company, Bauer Media Group, is a worldwide publishing house based in Hamburg with magazine titles in 15 countries including Britain, the US, China and Russia, as well as various television and radio assets.
Wilson has said that she would give the defamation payout to charity.


Napoleon fever confirmed as hat sells for €350,000

Updated 23 min 48 sec ago
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Napoleon fever confirmed as hat sells for €350,000

  • The final price far exceeded the expected €30,000 to €40,000 for the distinctive “bicorne” hat, which Napoleon wore sideways — rather than with points at the front and back — so he could easily be spotted on the battlefield.
  • Auctioneer Etienne De Baecque: “There’s a sort of craze going on with historical souvenirs, in particular those from Napoleon.”

LYON: A two-cornered military dress hat thought to have belonged to Napoleon went for €350,000 ($406,000) at auction on Monday, the latest sale to highlight the boundless appetite for all things associated with the emperor.
The final price far exceeded the expected €30,000 to €40,000 for the distinctive “bicorne” hat, which Napoleon wore sideways — rather than with points at the front and back — so he could easily be spotted on the battlefield.
The identify of the buyer was not disclosed.
“There’s a sort of craze going on with historical souvenirs, in particular those from Napoleon,” Etienne De Baecque, the auctioneer leading the sale in the eastern city of Lyon, told AFP.
Yet despite details that suggest the hat is one of about 120 the “Little Corsican” went through during his 15 years in power, there is no conclusive proof it belonged to him.
Most of them were made by the French hatmakers Poupard in black felted beaver fur, though only a handful of confirmed examples still exist.
“There are some distinctive elements: Napoleon hated the internal band so he always had it removed,” as is the case with the model sold Monday, De Baecque said.
It has long been attributed to the emperor, with records confirming its ownership since a Dutch captain took it as a war trophy after the battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The auction house said the hat was sold with the box used for its display at the World Expo in Brussels in 1897.
It had passed down through the captain’s family until the end of the last century, when it was sold to a French collector.
Monday’s sale still fell short of the €1.9 million paid for a Napoleon bicorne four years ago — part of a prestigious collection auctioned off by Monaco’s royal family — to the owner of the South Korean food and agriculture giant Harim.
Demand for all things Napoleon has often sent prices spiralling well above estimates.
Last November a fragile gold laurel leaf from the crown made for Napoleon’s coronation in 1804, weighing just 10 grams, was sold for €625,000.