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Rebel Wilson Awarded $3.6 Million in Defamation Case


The actress Rebel Wilson outside the courthouse in Melbourne, Australia, in June, celebrating her victory in a defamation case. On Tuesday the court awarded her $3.6 million in damages.

David Crosling/European Pressphoto Agency

Rebel Wilson, the Australian actress of “Pitch Perfect” fame, was richly vindicated Wednesday by a court in Melbourne, which said that a magazine publisher must pay her $3.6 million (4.6 million Australian dollars) in damages for defamation.

The publisher, Bauer Media, was responsible for articles in the Australian magazines Woman’s Day and Women’s Weekly that painted Ms. Wilson as the kind of nefarious shape-shifter that might appear in a Hollywood screenplay — a “serial liar” and opportunist who assumed a false name, age and biography in order to advance her career.

Ms. Wilson said the articles cost her work and personal distress.

Justice John Dixon of the Supreme Court of Victoria agreed, writing in his judgment that Bauer was guilty of “recklessness” and “did not care whether the plaintiff suffered reputational damage as it pursued its own corporate interests.” The award follows a jury verdict in Ms. Wilson’s favor in June. In a statement Wednesday, Ms. Wilson’s lawyer said the substantial sum set a national record for damages received in a defamation case.

On a break from production of the third installment of the “Pitch Perfect” franchise, Ms. Wilson celebrated her victory in a series of Twitter posts and said the case “wasn’t about the money.”

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