Rebel Wilson returned to court yesterday in the latest instalment of her bid for $4.5 million in special damages awarded to her last year.
Bauer Media is appealing the size of the damages, a record for defamation in Australia.
Bauer’s counsel told the jury the articles in Woman’s Day and Women’s Weekly were true and, in any case, trivial and unlikely to cause Wilson any harm.
But one of the three judges questioned the construction of Bauer’s defence.
“Telling multiple trivial lies is the same as being a serial liar is it?” Justice Beach asked.
“If I tell someone the Easter Bunny exists and Father Christmas exists, then I am a serial liar?”
Bauer’s barrister Michael Wheelahan QC replied, “in context, that may be so”.
He told the court his client didn’t want to challenge the jury’s verdict – rather it sought to have the Court of Appeal reassess the amount of damages.
He argued Wilson was entitled to a “fair and reasonable” amount of damages, but that the figure was “manifestly excessive”.
Wheelahan also claimed that original presiding judge Justice Dixon made errors of fact and law when deciding on the quantum of damages.
“There has been a denial of natural justice,” he said.
Rebel Wilson has spent approximately $1.5 million on the trial and wants majority of the costs repaid. She has pledged to give the money to Australian screen projects.
The hearing continues.