Rebel Wilson has Australian defamation payout slashed

FILE - In this May 2, 2018, file photo, actress Rebel Wilson struts across the stage as she is introduced to speak at College Signing Day, an event honoring Philadelphia students for their pursuit of a college education or career in the military at Temple University in Philadelphia. Wilson on Thursday, June 14, 2018, had her record 4.6 million Australian dollar ($3.5 million) damages award in a defamation case slashed to AU$600,000 ($454,000) after a magazine publisher appealed the amount of the payout. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

MELBOURNE, Australia — An appeals court on Thursday slashed Rebel Wilson's record 4.6 million Australian dollar ($3.5 million) damage award to AU$600,000 ($454,000) after a magazine publisher appealed the amount of its payout in a defamation case.

The 38-year-old Australian comic actress, best known for the "Pitch Perfect" movies and "Bridesmaids," was not in the Court of Appeal in Melbourne to hear the three judges' decision.

Wilson won a Victoria state Supreme Court jury trial ruling that German publisher Bauer Media defamed her in a series of articles in 2015 claiming she lied about her age, the origin of her first name and her upbringing in Sydney.

Bauer did not appeal the verdict that the articles were defamatory, but argued the Australian-record damages awarded in September were excessive.

Bauer successfully challenged the finding that Wilson should be compensated for film roles, including "Trolls" and "Kung Fu Panda 3," which she testified she had lost following the articles' publication.

The appeal court removed the AU$3.9 million that the trial judge had awarded for roles lost because of damage done to her reputation.

It also reduced Wilson's non-economic losses by AU$50,000 to AU$600,000.

Wilson said on Twitter the night before the judgment that she had won the case regardless of the damages awarded.

"I'm away on location in Europe filming right now," she tweeted.

"As I've said before, I have already won the case and this is unchallenged! This case was never about the money for me," she added.

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