This week, Rebel Wilson deserves an enormous round of applause for refusing to be bullied by tabloid newspapers. Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Victoria ordered Bauer Media — the publisher of Women's Day and Australian Women's Weekly — to cough up a colossal sum of $4.56 million in damages to the Pitch Perfect actress in what is a tremendous victory against the yellow press for the celebrity world.
The group had been spreading multiple, fabricated stories about the actress, accusing her of lying about her age, name and other personal details. According to Rebel's lawyers, the allegations had an "unprecedented" global reach and were intended to ruin her reputation.
The judgement concluded that there were three reasons for the huge pay-out; not only did Bauer fail to "properly investigate the allegations," its publications printed them knowing they were false and that they would be widely circulated within international media. Finally, the stories were intended to "cast a slur" on Wilson just in time for the release of her movie Pitch Perfect 2 and prevented her from furthering her career.
Ultimately, out of the total figure of $4,567,472, $650,000 was reportedly awarded in general damages and $3,917,472 million in special damages. Ironically, Bauer Media were so far up their own asses during the entire process that when they were offered a $200,000 a while back, they refused.
Now, delighted with the outcome of the case, Wilson's lawyers have said that the staggering financial compensation had broken records and was "the largest defamation damages award in Australian legal history — four times the previous record." In addition to this, Justice John Dixon explained:
"Unless substantial damages are awarded there is a real risk that the public will not be convinced of the seriousness of the defamation, but will rather wrongly conclude that the articles were trivial or not that serious."
And as to be expected, Rebel was over-the-moon with the verdict, tweeting what the victory means to her and what she intends to do with the gigantic cash injection:
Essentially, we should all congratulate Wilson on having the courage to bite back at false claims made by vicious gossip outlets. The actress's victory marks a phenomenal win for all celebrities trying to maintain their reputation and could well set a precedent for stricter libel laws in the publishing world. Nice one, girl!
Do you think we should have stricter laws regarding the publication of false statements?