So this just happened:
Magazine publisher Bauer Media has had a major win in its appeal over Rebel Wilson’s defamation suit and will now have to pay the actress $600,000.
The final figure is significantly less than the $4.5 million the Pitch Perfect star had originally been awarded in damages after she was defamed in a series of magazine articles.
The Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in Melbourne on Thursday and Wilson was not present in court for the ruling.
We’re not exactly busting out our surprised faces for this one – they’re still in the workshop after the initial judgement was announced. Mostly because this was kind of obvious:
The appeal court said the defamation caused “hurt and distress” and reassessed her damages for non-economic loss, including aggravated compensatory damages, down from $650,000 to $600,000.
But it rejected her claim of lost opportunity to be offered and then cast in lead or co-lead roles in Hollywood movies at basic remuneration of US$5 million or more which she claimed had been cancelled after the articles were published.
“The court of appeal held that, for a considerable number of reasons, the critical inferences drawn by the judge could not be upheld,” the judgment said.
“It followed that the judge’s award of damages for economic loss had to be set aside. Further, there was no basis in the evidence for making any award of damages for economic loss. The court is yet to determine the issues of interest and costs.”
Much as it’s tempting to think “oh great, now the magazines can go back to just printing pretty much anything, booo”, this is actually good news: if a celebrity could rake in millions in “lost income” based on projections they largely supplied themselves, it’d rapidly become extremely difficult for anyone to say anything negative about any media celebrity for fear of “damaging their career”.
And that’d be us out of a job for starters.