Rebel Wilson will recoup 80 per cent of legal fees after winning defamation case


Rebel Wilson will have 80 per cent of her $1.08 million (£761,000) legal fees paid by Bauer Media after the publisher was found to have defamed her.

The Pitch Perfect actress was awarded $3.6 million (£2.5 million) in damages, a record-breaking payout for a defamation case in Australia, in September (17) following a trial against executives at the company, who she accused of ruining her reputation and painting her as a liar in articles in 2015.

Her team later returned to court to argue that Wilson should get at least $1 million (£700,000) of her legal fees paid for by Bauer, asking Victorian supreme court Justice John Dixon to assess and award a “gross sum costs order”. However, in a ruling on Thursday (12Apr18), Dixon denied the request, and said the actress will receive her the legal costs recoup in the usual manner – meaning she is likely not to be awarded the fees until the end of the year.

“Although a purpose of awarding a gross sum costs order may be to avoid delay and expense, it cannot be assumed that in a particular case such an assessment will be more time and cost efficient than taxation,” he said. “Nor can it be assumed that a gross sum assessment will be simpler.”

Dixon did, however, agree that Bauer should cover the cost of Wilson’s counsel, $6,975 (£4,918) per day, and a security guard, which he deemed “reasonable”.

“There was an unusually large public interest in the proceeding,” he said. “It came to my attention during the course of the trial that the plaintiff had been approached in an inappropriate fashion by a member of the public.

“That person’s attendance within the court precinct was monitored by court security personnel and I was satisfied that the plaintiff was upset and detrimentally affected by the contact.”

The total amount Wilson will receive in fees was also not determined, but it’s expected she will take home around $870,250 (£613,608). The exact amount will be decided in separate court proceedings.

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

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