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

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.


Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

Updated 08 December 2019

Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

MIAMI: The move was bananas ... or maybe the work was just too appealing.
A performance artist shook up the crowd at the Art Basel show in Miami Beach on Saturday when he grabbed a banana that had been duct-taped to a gallery wall and ate it.
The banana was, in fact, a work of art by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan titled “Comedian” and sold to a French collector for $120,000.
In a video posted on his Instagram account, David Datuna, who describes himself as a Georgian-born American artist living in New York, walks up to the banana and pulls it off the wall with the duct tape attached.
“Art performance ... hungry artist,” he said, as he peeled the fruit and took a bite. “Thank you, very good.”
A few bystanders could be heard giggling before a flustered gallery official whisked him to an adjoining space for questioning.
But the kerfuffle was resolved without a food fight.
“He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea,” Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, told the Miami Herald.
As it turns out, the value of the work is in the certificate of authenticity, the newspaper said. The banana is meant to be replaced.
A replacement banana was taped to the wall about 15 minutes after Datuna’s stunt.
“This has brought a lot of tension and attention to the booth and we’re not into spectacles,” Terras said. “But the response has been great. It brings a smile to a lot of people’s faces.”
Cattelan is perhaps best known for his 18-carat, fully functioning gold toilet called “America” that he had once offered on loan to US President Donald Trump.
The toilet, valued at around $5 to $6 million, was in the news again in September when it was stolen from Britain’s Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of wartime leader Winston Churchill, where it had been on display.