A civil case by actress Rebel Wilson against Bauer Media got underway in Melbourne yesterday with the Pitch Perfect and Big Night Out star suing the magazine empire for loss of income, claiming she lost roles after a series of magazine articles.
Wilson’s team claims eight articles published by Woman’s Day in 2015 gave the impression she was a serial liar who invented “fantastic stories” including falsifying her age.
Barrister Matthew Collins, QC, told the six-woman jury Bauer “tore down an Australian star to sell magazines” claiming the magazine said she had lied about her age, from 35 to 29.
“Everyone was saying that Rebel was a liar, the grapevine went beserk.”
“[Bauer Media] refused to let the facts get in the way of a good story,” he said.
“This defendant knows that what it wrote was simply false.”
The court also heard she lost acting opportunities because of the articles.
“The phone just stopped ringing,” he said.
In court the jury watched home videos and clips from Pitch Perfect to illustrate how Wilson had made a career from her suburban upbringing.
Hugh Sheridan, as well as Wilson and her family, are set to give evidence during the trial.
The court also heard about a stoush between Wilson and Bauer Media after a journalist contacted the star’s 86-year-old grandmother and “tried to manipulate” the elderly woman to dish “dirt” on her granddaughter.
Wilson then tweeted about the journalist, stating “here she is, total scum”, but got the woman’s identity wrong.
Bauer Media then threatened to take legal action.
The company’s lawyer, Georgina Schoff QC, told the jury that was “why we are all here”.
Outside the court Wilson remained determined to take on the media company, saying she wouldn’t be intimidated.
The case is expected to last for 3 weeks …..and 3 months of headlines.