Bauer Media to appeal Rebel Wilson damages

Here we go again….

Bauer Media has confirmed it will appeal the $4.56 million in damages owing to actress Rebel Wilson. It was the biggest defamation payout figure in Australian legal history.

In a statement the Woman’s Day publisher said it was important to challenge the damages because of its effect on press freedom.

“It’s important for us to revisit this unprecedented decision on the quantum of damages, which also has broad implications for the media industry,” general counsel Adrian Goss said.

Bauer will not seek to appeal against liability, but sources close to the case say the company remains concerned by the outcome including Justice John Dixon’s decision to ignore a statutory cap on defamation payouts.

A court can order judgments that exceed the $389,500 cap if the court is satisfied that the circumstances warrant an award of aggravated damages.

It’s unclear if Wilson will need to return to court as part of the appeal or if the parties are able to agree to a figure, to avoid revisiting.

She had originally offered to settle for $200,000 over the series of defamatory articles published in Woman’s Day, Australian Women’s Weekly, New Weekly and OK!

Source: Herald Sun, Fairfax

3 Comments:

  1. “the Woman’s Day publisher said it was important to challenge the damages because of its effect on press freedom”. “Freedom” to publish lies, defamatory material, humiliating fake ‘news’ etc.?
    Appealing is a gamble. Not only can the new judge uphold his colleague’s determination but he can also increase the penalty.

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