Australia’s leading independent law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, has represented well-known comedian and actress, Rebel Wilson, in her successful defamation proceedings against Bauer Media, the German-based global media giant.
On 15 June 2017, the jury found in favour of Rebel Wilson on every element of her claim, agreeing that articles published in Woman’s Day, the Australian Women’s Weekly and other publications in 2015 were defamatory and untrue and that some were motivated by malice. The next step is for damages to be assessed, which will take place next week and be determined by the trial judge.
“The media has a critical role to play in our society. But freedom of the press doesn’t justify chequebook journalism or plagiarism. The jury accepted that Bauer’s magazines engaged in a calculated campaign to capitalise on Rebel Wilson’s public success. Even on the eve of trial, they published a story about her that was simply a fabrication. The jury accepted that their claims were defamatory and untrue,” said Corrs Partner Richard Leder, who was the principal Partner on the matter.
“Rebel Wilson pursued her claim because the defamatory publications cost her movie roles and seriously damaged her career. With the international publicity attracted by the case and her successful outcome, her reputation and her honesty has been vindicated. The support she received during the trial was also extremely reaffirming for her.
“We are delighted to have advised Rebel Wilson on this important defamation case and thrilled with the outcome. This is a clear example of Corrs’ capabilities in acting for high-profile public figures to protect their reputation and interests,” Mr Leder added.
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