Australia’s–highest–court–has knocked–back–actor–Rebel–Wilson’s–appeal in her defamation–case–against–a–magazine–publisher, bringing–the–long-running legal stoush–to–an–end.
The–Pitch–Perfect–star–was fighting to retrieve millions of dollars in damages she was awarded but then–lost–on–appeal–after–a jury–found–last–year she had been defamed by Bauer Media, the publisher–of–Woman’s–Day, Australian–Women’s Weekly, and–associated–websites.
The jury–found–Wilson–was defamed in articles–that said she had–lied about her name, age and background, and that–painted her as–a “serial liar”. A Supreme Court judge awarded her $4.5 million–in damages, Australia’s largest-ever defamation–payout.
But the–amount was reduced by 85% to $600,000–when the Victorian–Court of Appeal ruled Wilson hadn’t proved–she had missed out on leading movie–roles as a result of the defamatory articles.
At the time, Wilson labelled the–decision “bizarre” and vowed to fight it in the High Court.
On Friday morning the High–Court knocked back Wilson’s–application for special leave to appeal, which means it decided it wouldn’t hear–the case.
Her lawyers, Matthew Collins–QC and Renee Embom, had–argued in the application that the Court of–Appeal had “strayed from its role” in overturning findings of fact made by the–first judge, and taken an “unfair” approach that resulted in several–errors.
Bauer Media–opposed the–application.
Outside court Wilson said–she was not too fussed about the–failed High Court bid.
“Today was just about a–small point of special–damages and–to me it was never about the money, it was–about standing up to a bully,” she said. “And I’ve–done that so successfully. At the–end of the day that’s what matters.”
She–said she–was proud of–herself for seeing the–case–out “right to the–bitter–end”, and that–she “never dreamed” she–would one day–wind up at the High–Court.
Wilson–also reiterated that despite–Bauer’s appeal–victory on–damages, the jury verdict that she–had been defamed–by–the publisher–still–stands.
“This was a–company that–behaved very, very badly, were–proven guilty–of malicious defamation, but at the–end of the–day the jury obviously–restored my–reputation.”
Bauer–Media–general counsel Adrian Goss said in a statement–he was pleased the High Court had put–an end to the–lawsuit.