Rebel Wilson damages slashed on appeal

Magazine publisher Bauer Media has had a major win in its appeal over Rebel Wilson's defamation suit and will now have to pay the actress $600,000.

The final figure is significantly less than the $4.5 million the Pitch Perfect star had originally been awarded in damages after she was defamed in a series of magazine articles.

Wilson, 38, was not present in court when the Court of Appeal handed down its ruling and published a 252-page judgment on Thursday.

The judgment means the Australian actress will receive about $3.9 million less than she had been originally awarded by the Supreme Court in September.

The suit was over a number articles, published in 2015, which made Wilson out to be a serial liar.

Wilson claimed she lost film roles as a result of the articles and she was awarded the largest defamation payout in Australian legal history in September.

Supreme Court Justice John Dixon awarded her a record $4.5 million, including $3.9 million in financial damages relating to a loss of income.

But the Court of Appeal found there was no basis for her to be awarded financial damages for the potential loss of roles, setting aside the economic damages entirely.

"The trial judge erred in finding the plaintiff had established, on the balance of probabilities, the loss of an opportunity to earn US$15 million from being cast in lead or co-lead roles in three feature films," the judgment said.

The Court of Appeal also reduced Wilson's non-economic losses from $650,000 to $600,000.

Wilson was not present for the judgment but she took to Twitter the night before, saying she had already won the case.

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

"As I've said before, I have already won the case and this is unchallenged!

"This case was never about the money for me."

Bauer Media did not challenge the jury's defamation finding in its appeal and sought only for the damages to be reduced.

The Court of Appeal is yet to determine costs.

Australian Associated Press