Rebel Wilson seeks legal fees after record defamation payout
MELBOURNE - Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson spent more than Aus$1.3 million (S$1.34 million) to win Australia's largest defamation payout, it was revealed Thursday (March 8), and she is now chasing publisher Bauer to pay those costs as well.
The Pitch Perfect star was awarded Aus$4.5 million in damages against the group last September over articles claiming she lied about her age and background to further her career.
The allegations were made in Woman's Day, Australian Women's Weekly and OK Magazine in 2015, which Wilson said damaged her reputation. She won the case and vowed to give the payout to charity. Bauer are appealing and have been backed by some of the country's leading media organisations who argue the size of the settlement set a dangerous precedent.
A day after she tweeted "Girls just wanna have funds," Wilson's lawyers appeared in the Victorian Supreme Court in a battle over the fees. It heard that experts engaged by lawyers for both Wilson and Bauer had estimated the actress would be entitled to recover between Aus$1.1 million and Aus$1.3 million, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Wilson's barrister Renee Enbom said it effectively meant they were quibbling over Aus$200,000.
"It's $200,000, that's what we're fighting about," she said, according to the broadcaster, in urging the judge to make an order on costs rather than it going to a dedicated costs court, which would potentially delay the payment.
Justice John Dixon reserved his decision. The court earlier heard that Wilson had offered to settle the case for Aus$200,000 before it went to trial, with most of her legal costs coming from solicitor's fees preparing her case.