The staggering $4.5 million defamation payout to Rebel Wilson has just been slashed to $600,000

Scott Barbour/Getty ImagesMELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 15: Australian actress Rebel Wilson speaks to the media as she leaves the Victorian Supreme Court on June 15, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. After a three week trial, a jury of six has returned unanimous verdicts in favour of Wilson. Rebel Wilson launched action Bauer Media, the publisher of Woman’s Day, over a series of articles she alleges portrayed her as a serial liar and cost her movie roles in Hollywood. (Photo by )

Bauer Media, publisher of Women’s Day, has had a major victory on appeal in its defamation case with actress Rebel Wilson, with Victoria’s Court of Appeal cutting the payout from $4.5 million to $600,000.

Wilson sued Bauer over a series of articles published in Women’s Day in 2015, and in June last year a jury found Wilson was defamed in eight articles calling her a serial liar.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice John Dixon subsequently awarded Wilson $650,000 in general damages and $3.97 million in special damages, saying the defamation was “unprecedented in this country” and warranted “a substantial damages award to vindicate her and nail the lie”.

It was the biggest defamation payout in Australian legal history.

Her lawyers had been seeking more than $7 million claiming Wilson had missed out on major Hollywood film roles.

But today’s appeal decision sets aside the special damages payout for economic loss and also cuts $50,000 off the general damages, concluding that “there was no basis in the evidence for making any award of damages for economic loss”.

The actress is currently filming in Europe, and ahead of the decision, took to Twitter last night to say that regardless of the level of payout, she had won the case.

Wilson planned to donate her damages award to charity.

“While this case was never about the money for me, I do hope to receive as much as possible to give away to charities and to support the Australian film industry,” she said.

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