Rebel Wilson fighting to have more legal fees covered in defamation case


Rebel Wilson’s lawyers appeared in court on Thursday (08Mar18) to fight over how much of her legal fees should be repaid by Bauer Media executives.

The Pitch Perfect actress was awarded $3.6 million (£2.6 million) in damages, a record-breaking payout for a defamation case in Australia, in September (17) following a trial against executives at the magazine publisher, who she accused of ruining her reputation and painting her as a liar in articles in 2015.

Rebel spent $1 million (£720,000) on legal fees pursuing the case, and her lawyers appeared in the Supreme Court of Victoria on Thursday to argue how much of that sum Bauer should pay.

It was expected that the Australian star would receive 80 per cent of her fees back, but her team are seeking more.

Her barrister said at the hearing that both parties were effectively disagreeing over a sum of between $100,000 (£72,000) and $200,000 (£144,000), and it was revealed that Rebel had put in a settlement offer with Bauer before the trial, but they rejected it.

Her team asked the trial judge, Justice John Dixon, to determine the amount of legal costs that should be awarded, but the Bauer team asked for the dispute to be referred to the Costs Court, which is standard practice. Dixon, adjourning the case, reserved his decision on whether to rule on the costs or refer it on.

The 38-year-old wasn’t present in court, but explained to a Twitter user that she was awarded the fees already, they are just deciding how much.

“I’ve already won ‘costs’, Bauer Media are just arguing about what this amount should be, but typically it’s about 80 per cent of what was paid out by me. Going to be an expensive loss for @bauermedia !” she wrote. “Ps they should’ve settled the costs argument, just like they should’ve settled the case.”

Bauer Media representatives are also appealing the damages payout, and that appeal is scheduled for April.

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