Hollywood star Rebel Wilson has won her month-long defamation battle against Bauer Media, saying she got through the trial by thinking about “pashing” actor Liam Hemsworth.
A six-woman jury in the case against the gossip magazine publisher unanimously found eight articles published in Woman’s Day, Australian Women’s Weekly, NW and OK magazine in May 2015 defamed the star.
Bauer was unable to prove the articles, which said the star lied about her real name, age and childhood, were substantially true or that they were unlikely to harm her.
Outside the Supreme Court of Victoria on Thursday, Wilson said she felt the “stain” had been removed from her reputation after Bauer had “so maliciously” taken her down.
“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,” Wilson said.
“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.”
Wilson said she felt like she’d stood up to a “bully” who had damaged her career.
“Unfortunately, this was the only way that I could stand up to this huge media organisation was by taking them to court publicly,” she said.
“I’m a person that’s really confident in my own skin and really felt like it was the right thing to do to take this company on and prove how disgusting and disgraceful their chequebook journalism is.”
Wilson said she plans to go back to Hollywood and rebuild her career.
“I’m hoping to film a movie in New York with fellow Aussie Liam Hemsworth, who I get to pash in the movie,” she joked.
“So when I’ve been feeling really down about the stress of this court case, I’ve just been thinking about pashing him.”
Bauer Media said it would consider its options after the verdict.
The jurors deliberated for two days over their verdict, in which they were asked to consider 40 questions about the articles.
They agreed Bauer had said Wilson lied about her age, claiming to be six years younger, and had lied about her real name.
They also found Bauer had said Wilson lied about having an hallucination while sick with malaria, about her parents being dog trainers, about being related to Walt Disney and about being raised in a “bogan” and “ghetto” area of Sydney.
The first article, by Woman’s Day journalist Shari Nementzik, quoted an anonymous paid source who claimed the star had added a touch of “fantasy” to stories about her life to “make it in Hollywood”.
Wilson revealed early in the trial she believed the source was an “obsessive” and “jealous” former schoolmate who knew little about her life.
Another article, by then Australian Women’s Weekly journalist Caroline Overington, claimed the reporter was one of the people the Bridesmaids star lied to.
Ms Overington gave evidence in the trial, claiming Wilson had lied to her face and claimed to be 29 when she was in fact 35.
Wilson said after the articles were published in May 2015 she struggled to get lead roles, despite starring in the hugely successful Pitch Perfect franchise.
Justice John Dixon will decide damages at a later date.