Rebel Wilson goes to High Court after order to repay millions
Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson is planning to take her defamation case to Australia's High Court, after she was ordered to pay back millions of dollars to a magazine publisher that was found to have defamed her in a series of tabloid stories.
On Wednesday, Wilson's legal team sought special leave to appeal against the decision handed down last month, which forced her to repay millions of dollars she was awarded in compensation to Bauer Media.
Wilson was initially awarded more than $4.7 million in damages last year, after a jury found she had missed out on film roles because of a series of articles which claimed she had lied about her age, real name and childhood.
But in June, the Court of Appeal found "there was no basis in the evidence for making any award of damages for economic loss", and Wilson was ordered to pay back $4.1 million and 80 per cent of Bauer's legal costs.
Her lawyers will argue that the Court of Appeal made a number of errors, including failing to consider that Wilson received dramatically fewer offers of leading roles after the articles were published.
"By overlooking that evidence, the court fell into further error," Wilson's lawyers wrote.
"That finding as relevant to the court's ultimate conclusion that she had not lost opportunities to obtain such roles after the publication of the articles."
Her lawyers, Matthew Collins QC and Renee Enbom, also argue the Court of Appeal trawled "selectively" through evidence.
"That approach was not just unfair, but it resulted in a variety of different types of errors, including overlooking central evidence."
Wilson's initial payout sum would have been the largest defamation payment ever ordered by an Australian court.
Several media organisations questioned whether the decision set a new precedent for defamation payments.
Wilson said on Twitter in June that she would fight the decision to reduce her payout.