Australian Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson’s ‘world’ fell apart after a number of magazines, including Woman’s Day, published articles allegedly insinuating she was a serial liar, Melbourne court said .
The movie star is suing publisher Bauer Media for a series of articles in May 2015, which his lawyer told the jury “to shoot down an Australian star to sell magazines.”
Opening Wilson’s case, Matthew Collins QC told the court the publisher had “timed their assault” to coincide with the release of box office hit Pitch Perfect 2, in which Wilson had a starring role.
âThis editor refused to let the facts get in the way of a good story,â he said.
The original Woman’s Day article claimed Wilson had publicly lied about her age, real name and upbringing, allegedly insinuating that she added a Hollywood touch to her story.
It was followed by seven articles in other Bauer Media magazines, including New Weekly and Women’s Weekly.
Career damaged by articles
Dr Collins told the court that Wilson was subsequently fired from the Kung Fu Panda 3 and Trolls movies and has not been offered another role in a movie since.
Outside of court, Wilson said it was traumatic to relive that period of his life.
“You might have seen me cry today just in the opening statements, to relive the days of two years ago,” she said.
“I will not be intimidated and I am here ready to tell my side of the story.”
Wilson will testify on Tuesday morning.
The court heard that his family, agents and other Australian actors, including Hugh Sheridan and Kate Jenkinson, would also testify.
Bauer Media denies that the articles were defamatory.
Lawyer Georgina Schoff QC, representing the publisher, told the jury that the articles were true and, in any case, insignificant and unlikely to cause any harm to Wilson.
Ms Schoff told the court Wilson opened the case in retaliation for the lawsuit Bauer Media was taking against her in another libel case for a tweet she posted about one of their reporters.
The trial before Judge John Dixon is expected to last three weeks.