Rebel Wilson loses bid to keep most of $3.4 million defamation payout

Australian actress Rebel Wilson sued Woman’s Day magazine last year over a series of articles in 2015. (Invision/AP)
Updated 16 November 2018

Rebel Wilson loses bid to keep most of $3.4 million defamation payout

  • The actress had sued Woman’s Day magazine last year over a series of articles in 2015
  • ‘The whole reason for bringing this case is that I wanted to stand up to a bully, which is Bauer Media’

SYDNEY: Rebel Wilson said she was glad she’d stood up to “a bully” despite losing her bid Friday to keep most of the record payout awarded to her in her defamation case against an Australian magazine.
The actress had sued Woman’s Day magazine last year over a series of articles in 2015 that she said had painted her as someone who’d lied about her real name, age and childhood in order to make it in Hollywood.
The Supreme Court of Victoria state awarded her an Australian-record payout of $3.4 million (A$4.7 million) after a jury concluded she’d missed out on film roles because of the articles. Wilson had sought $5 million in damages.
But this June the amount was reduced by 90 percent after the magazine’s publishers, Bauer Media, appealed. Victoria’s Court of Appeal said Wilson could not prove economic loss, or that she’d missed out on film contracts as a result of the articles. The court ordered the actress to pay back almost $3 million, and 80 percent of Bauer’s legal costs.
Wilson’s lawyers on Friday sought leave to appeal against the reduction in the High Court — Australia’s highest judicial body — but the application was refused.
“In our opinion there are insufficient prospects that an appeal will succeed,” Justice Virginia Bell said at the court in the national capital, Canberra.
The magazine publisher welcomed the decision. “Bauer Media is invested in its Australian business now more than ever,” Bauer chief executive Paul Dykzeul said in a statement. “Our audience trust our content and our writers and they love our iconic brands like Woman’s Day and Australian Women’s Weekly.”
Wilson, who sat in the front row of the public gallery during the brief hearing, said outside the court she was glad the process had been brought to an end.
“This has been a long fight and a long journey in the courts, but the great thing about today is that it brings it to a definitive end,” she told reporters.
“The whole reason for bringing this case is that I wanted to stand up to a bully, which is Bauer Media.”
Wilson said she was proud of herself for “seeing it out right to the bitter end,” and that she was glad the initial jury had “restored my reputation.”
“Today was just about a small point of special damages and for me it was never about the money, it was about standing up to a bully and I’ve done that.”
Wilson is a native Australian best known for her Hollywood roles in the “Pitch Perfect” films and “Bridesmaids.”


Sumatran tiger kills farmer in Indonesia

Updated 13 December 2019

Sumatran tiger kills farmer in Indonesia

  • Tigers mauled to death another coffee farmer and seriously injured two Indonesian tourists in separate incidents in the province last month
  • Human-animal conflicts are common in the vast Southeast Asian archipelago, especially in areas where the clearing of rainforest is destroying animal habitats

PALEMBANG, Indonesia: A Sumatran tiger has killed an Indonesian farmer, police said Friday, in the third fatal attack by the critically endangered species in less than a month.
The 55-year-old was set upon by the big cat at a coffee plantation in South Sumatra province on Thursday.
Authorities said the dead man’s companion screamed in vain to warn him about the approaching predator.
“All of sudden, the tiger pounced on the victim,” local police chief Ferry Harahap told AFP on Friday.
The deadly attack comes just a week after a tiger killed another farmer in nearby Pagaralam.
Tigers mauled to death another coffee farmer and seriously injured two Indonesian tourists in separate incidents in the province last month.
Local conservation agency official Martialis Puspito blamed human encroachment on the endangered animal’s habitat for the spate of attacks, adding that residents were being warned to steer clear of the wilderness.
“We cannot drive out the tigers because the jungles are their habitat so it’s people who have to stay out of there,” he said.
Human-animal conflicts are common in the vast Southeast Asian archipelago, especially in areas where the clearing of rainforest to make way for palm oil plantations is destroying animal habitats.
Sumatran tigers are considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with fewer than 400 believed to remain in the wild.