Rebel Outside The Law

We’re not sure which is funnier: this news item, or the fact a whole bunch of people sent it to us:

Actress Rebel Wilson is suing a glossy magazine publisher over a series of articles she says defamed her.

Wilson, a comedian and actress who has starred in blockbusters including Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect, says print and online articles in Woman’s Day, The Australian Women’s Weekly, NW and OK Magazine made her out to be a serial liar.

According to a writ filed in the Victorian Supreme Court, Wilson says her reputation and credit has suffered, and she has been humiliated and embarrassed.

But what horrible lies could they have published that could have caused her such distress?

Wilson says the stories last year accused her of lying about her age and her background, using a fake name and creating stories to make it in Hollywood.


Now, at first you might be thinking “hang on a second, haven’t all those stories been, you know… proven? Rebel did change her name between school and Hollywood (it seems at school she went by Melanie Elizabeth Bownds), she did “forget” to tell Hollywood that her actual age was six years older than what she claimed (going so far as to say Rose Byrne was in an “older group” of actresses when Byrne is actually a year younger than her), and once you start leaving years out of your past then the stories about your awesome past fairly quickly stop adding up.

It’s not even like it’s hard to figure out: the article says “As a girl, Wilson was studious and, at 17, she was voted an Australian Youth Ambassador and sent to South Africa to represent her country”… but if her publicised birthday is correct she would have been 17 in 2003, the year Wikipedia says “she moved to New York after winning the ATYP International scholarship”. Busy girl.

But on closer inspection – and asking some people who know more about this stuff than we do – it seems likely that her case relies more on the way they revealed these facts than the fact that they’re, you know, facts. To wit: it’s one thing to say she told lies – we all do that. It’s another to suggest she’s some kind of serial liar.

Which we for one would obviously never do: as Rebel herself has pointed out , the “Australian system” is the real villain here.

John: Have you heard of this thing called Tall Poppy Syndrome?

Rebel: Yes.

John: Is that a real thing? Is that something that –

Rebel: That is a very, very real thing, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to come live and work in America. So what it is, it’s a cultural phenomenon. It’s where if you get too good or too successful in Australia, so if you’re a poppy and you grow too tall, essentially, people want to cut you down. [laughs]

Craig: Really?

Rebel: Like yes, that’s what happened to me in Australia. So I was on all these different television shows and people like, she’s had a go, let someone else. And I’m like, what do you mean? I’m now like experienced. I’m now like really experienced. I’m now ready to go the next step and have my own movies, or maybe. And the Australian system is like, no, you think you’re so good now, why don’t you go and be unemployed. And I’m like, no.

Damn Australian system, always forcing the “really experienced” into unemployment.

Supposedly if Wilson can prove malice – that the magazines in question told those stories about her in an attempt to damage her career – then she may have a case even if the stories they told are all 100% true. It seems that intentionally setting out to cause harm to someone’s career is enough to win this kind of case.

Presumably she’ll be suing whoever let her go ahead with Super Fun Night next.

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