Actor Rebel Wilson has been ordered to hand back the vast bulk of $4.7 million she was originally awarded in her defamation case against Bauer Media.
Wilson won the landmark payout in September 2017 after a defamation trial about a series of articles in Woman’s Day and The Australian Women’s Weekly that made her out to be a liar.
But an appeal in early June found she was not entitled to $3.9 million in economic damages relating to a loss of income, which made up the bulk of the damages. That means the star will be left with less than 12 per cent of her original record payout.
On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal ordered Wilson to repay the money and deduct some legal fees from what is left.
The court said she must repay Bauer $4,183,071.45 – including $60,316.45 in interest – after the original judgment was set aside.
The magazine publisher had transferred the original $4,749,920.60 to Wilson within three weeks of the September 13 judgment.
The star said she planned to distribute the money to charity and the Australian film industry.
Wilson did not dispute on appeal that the $4.1 million should be repaid.
She argued, however, the interest should be charged at the prevailing Reserve Bank cash rate of 1.5 per cent, rather than the 2 per cent sought by Bauer.
The appeal court disagreed, ordering interest at 2 per cent.
Wilson must also pay 80 per cent of Bauer’s appeal costs.