Bauer's Rebel Wilson cut from $4.5m to $600,000

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 14 June 2018

Bauer Media has had a major win in its appeal over Rebel Wilson's defamation suit with its payout slashed from $4.5 million to just $600,000.

The ruling follows a legal stoush between Wilson and Bauer with the media company contesting the record breaking defamation payout for several months.

The Court of Appeal handed down its judgement in Melbourne this morning. Wilson was not present in court for the ruling.

During the hearing in Melbourne in April, Bauer’s barrister Michael Wheelahan QC argued the level of damages was “manifestly excessive”.

He said Justice Dixon made an error when he ordered Wilson be compensated for losing film roles.

Bauer was found to have defamed the actress in a series of articles published in 2015 that painted her as a serial liar and cost her several movie roles.

The $4.5 million figure far exceeded the $389,500 statutory cap that media companies have previously relied on to protect them in defamation cases. 

The win will come as a victory to the entire publishing industry, with Nine, Seven, Fairfax, News Corp, Macquarie Media and the ABC previously siding with Bauer. 

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