Australian actress Rebel Wilson has Bauer Media libel payout cut

The star of three “Pitch Perfect” movies and “Bridesmaids” won A$4.6 million ($3.5 million) in damages from the German publisher Bauer Media last year. (AFP)
Updated 14 June 2018
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Australian actress Rebel Wilson has Bauer Media libel payout cut

SYDNEY: An Australian court on Thursday slashed a record libel payout for actress Rebel Wilson, saying there was insufficient evidence a series of magazine articles published by Bauer Media prevented her from getting lucrative roles in Hollywood.
The star of three “Pitch Perfect” movies and “Bridesmaids” won A$4.6 million ($3.5 million) in damages from the German publisher last year after a court found a series of articles accusing her of lying about her age, name and childhood events had cost her roles.
But Bauer, backed by a host of large Australian media companies, appealed the decision in February, arguing the damages bill was too high.
On Thursday, Victorian state appeals court cut Wilson’s payout to just A$600,000.
“For a considerable number of reasons, the critical inferences drawn by the judge could not be upheld,” three judges in the Victorian state appeals court wrote in a judgment.
“There was no basis in the evidence for making any award of damages for economic loss.”
The judge who determined the initial payout had relied on testimony from Wilson and two Hollywood agents that the articles, which were not published in the United States, still would have influenced movie industry decision makers, the appeals court judges added.
Wilson’s legal representatives were not immediately available for comment.
Bauer said in a statement that it welcomed the court’s decision.
When Wilson won the case last year, it was an Australian record for a case, much higher than the A$389,000 maximum previously set, by using her “global reach” as justification.


What We Are Reading Today: A Mind Unraveled by Kurt Eichenwald

Updated 31 min 41 sec ago
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What We Are Reading Today: A Mind Unraveled by Kurt Eichenwald

  • This is the story of one man's battle to pursue his dreams despite an often incapacitating brain disorder

A Mind Unraveled is a well-written, informative, and enlightening book from Kurt Eichenwald. It is a beautiful, tragic, and strong memoir.

This is the story of one man's battle to pursue his dreams despite an often incapacitating brain disorder. 

From his early experiences of fear and denial to his exasperating search for treatment, Eichenwald provides a deeply candid account of his years facing this misunderstood and often stigmatized condition. 

He details his encounters with the doctors whose negligence could have killed him, but for the heroic actions of a brilliant neurologist and the family and friends who fought for him.

A Mind Unraveled reads like a medical thriller, at times truly frightening but also deeply inspiring,” commented Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, in a review published in goodreads.com.

He added: “This book will make me think differently as a doctor. Eichenwald is a tremendously talented writer. When you travel on his personal journey, it is pure gold.”

Reviewing the book for the New York Times, Daphne Merkin said: “A Mind Unraveled is inspirational in the true sense of the word rather than in a gimmicky, self-help sort of way. It is written with great verve and wisdom by someone who has closely and thoughtfully detailed his own plight as well as the journey out of it.”

Merkin is the author of “This Close to Happy: A Reckoning With Depression.” 

He added: “I found myself reading it obsessively, the better to discover what happens to Eichenwald as he stumbles from one traumatic misadventure to the next while managing all the while to keep his eye on the larger picture. It is a book to take heart from.”