Actress Rebel Wilson won a defamation case against Australian media company Bauer, Syndney last week. A magazine ‘Women’s Day’, part of the Bauer stable, claimed that Rebel Wilson had lied about her age, about her family ties to Walt Disney, and questioned if Rebel was indeed her name.
Born in Australia, Rebel graduated from the Australian Theatre For Young People programme, and worked on a few Australian TV shows – including as a writer and producer, before moving to the America and Hollywood. She was cast in Bridesmaid, Pitch Perfect, a voicing role in Ice Age, and other films.
According to the Guardian Profile of Rebel Wilson, her mother had initially wanted to name her Rebel, after a younger student of her. However, they finally named her Melanie, but was always known as Rebel in the house. Rebel later legally changed her name in 2002.
Rebel Wilson claimed in her lawsuit that the magazine portrayed her as a “serial liar who has invented fantastic stories in order to make it in Hollywood.” Other magazines picked up the story from Women’s Day, which led to Rebel losing many roles, including a role in Kung Fu Panda 3, and many that were already promised to her.
Rebel testified in a Melbourne court in Australia, for 6 days. Later, a 6-person jury considered 40 questions about the case, to determine if indeed the magazine had defamed Rebel and caused her material loss. The jury ruled entirely in Rebel’s favour, and held that the magazine had indeed caused loss to Rebel. “I had to stand up to a bully, a huge media organisation, Bauer Media, who maliciously took me down in 2015 with a series of grubby and completely false articles,” she said.
Rebel also said, “The reason I’m here is not for damages, it’s to clear my name. And the fact the jury has done that unanimously and answered every single of the 40 questions in my favour I think proves what I’ve been saying all along. I was hoping the jury would do the right thing and send a message to these tabloids and they’ve done that so for me, it’s over in my mind.”
Image Courtesy: Guardian