ACTOR Rebel Wilson has been ordered to repay $4.1 million she received from Bauer Media in a defamation payout that was later reduced on appeal to $600,000.

The Court of Appeal on Wednesday ordered Wilson pay Bauer Media $4,183,071.45 - including $60,316.45 in interest - after the original judgment awarding her $4.7 million was set aside on appeal earlier in June.

The Aussie Pitch Perfect star was awarded the landmark payout in September 2017 following a defamation trial over a series of articles that made her out to be a liar.

But an appeal later found she was not entitled to $3.9 million in economic damages relating to a loss of income.

Wilson, 38, had launched the action against the publisher of Woman's Day over articles she alleged portrayed her as a serial liar and cost her movie roles in Hollywood.

The eye-watering figure was Australia's highest-ever defamation payout, with Wilson saying at the time she was "grateful" to receive a sum "four times the Australian record". The payout prompted an immediate appeal by Bauer that was upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Rebel Wilson arrives to the Court of Appeal in Melbourne earlier this year. Picture: Luis Ascui/AAP
Rebel Wilson arrives to the Court of Appeal in Melbourne earlier this year. Picture: Luis Ascui/AAP

Before the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment earlier this month, Wilson said in a tweet she had not been in it for the money.

"The Court of Appeal in Australia will be handing down their decision in the morning re my defamation case against @bauermedia. As I've said before, I have already WON the case and this is UNCHALLENGED!" she wrote.

"What happens tomorrow is to do with the losers @bauermedia quibbling about how much they now have to pay me. While this case was never about the money for me, I do hope to receive as much as possible to give away to charities and to support the Australian film industry."

She later slammed the court's decision, and flagged another potential appeal.

"I was hoping the Court of Appeal in Australia would deliver a reasonable judgment today … ummmmm seeing as that HAS CLEARLY NOT happened I look forward to appealing!

"There's some really bizarre things in there guys that are so obviously challengeable!" she posted on Twitter.

"Everybody knows I lost money after those maliciously defamatory articles were printed about me by @bauermedia in 2015. The learned trial judge and Australian jury on the case who heard all the evidence clearly agreed.

"But somehow the Court of Appeal have been absolutely flippant with regards to my economic loss, not to mention my overall hurt and distress at having to stand up to these bullies.

"That's now $4 million less going to less fortunate Australians and leaves a billionaire corporation, proven guilty of malicious defamation, being able to get away with their seriously harmful acts for a very low payday! Clearly not fair. Come on Australia."

 

After initially being awarded the record payout, Wilson said she would be giving the money to charity as her way of turning something "really, really hurtful and devastating" into a positive thing.

"If you're going about your business and suddenly there's this awful campaign that causes an international firestorm around the world to bring you down and say everything about you is a lie, it's just heartbreaking," she told The Project. "Especially when I pride myself on being a very real, authentic person, that's part of my personality.

"They've continued to fight me," she went on. "But I'm still there every step of the way and it's not about the money for me, but I want as much as possible to go to charity, so I'm here for the appeal.

"There's so many Australians in all areas and those people shouldn't suffer that thing because they were successful."

She also said she hoped her case would inspire other celebrities to challenge mistruths made about them in the media.

With AAP


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