Court rejects media companies joining in Rebel Wilson appeal

Six media organisations which had sought to “intervene” in proceedings between Bauer Media and actress Rebel Wilson will not be able to be heard.

Seven, Nine, News Corp, Fairfax, Macquarie Media and the ABC wanted to argue Rebel Wilson’s record $4.5 million payout was inconsistent with previous defamation awards and it could have an unwanted effect on public interest journalism.

Barrister David Collins QC, acting for the media organisations, said legislation was in place to provide an approximate median value of such payouts.

But the court ruled the issue of capping damages for non-economic loss would already be covered in Bauer’s submissions.

“Bauer Media’s intents are aligned with the interveners’ intent.” Justice Pamela Tate said, stating that while the six media organisations had a “significant interest” in the case, she and Justice David Beach were not persuaded their arguments would be useful.

The media organisations were also ordered to pay Rebel Wilson’s legal costs in defending the unsuccessful bid.

Wilson has promised to donate her defamation payout to charity, scholarships or the Australian film industry.

An appeal by Bauer Media is listed for April 18.

Source: News Corp

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