Rebel Wilson sues magazine publisher over 'nasty' articles

Rebel Wilson leaves the Supreme Court on 22 May Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rebel Wilson arrived in Australia from the US last week

Hollywood actor Rebel Wilson lost movie roles because she was portrayed as a liar in a series of magazine articles, an Australian court has heard.

Ms Wilson is suing publisher Bauer Media over eight articles published by its magazines in 2015.

The Supreme Court of Victoria heard the pieces alleged she had lied about her name, age and upbringing in Australia.

Her "world collapsed" after their publication, her lawyer said. Bauer denies the articles were defamatory.

The Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids actor, who is seeking unspecified damages, is expected to testify during the case in Melbourne.

'Such nastiness'

Opening her case, Ms Wilson's lawyer, Dr Matthew Collins, QC, told the six-woman jury that Bauer Media "tore down an Australian star to sell magazines".

"She thought she had never been hit with such nastiness," he said.

"It should have been the high point of her career. She should have been going from meeting to meeting to discuss future roles. In fact the phone stopped ringing."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rebel Wilson's lawyers say the articles were timed to coincide with the release of Pitch Perfect 2

Dr Collins said Ms Wilson was subsequently sacked from two films, Trolls and Kung Fu Panda 3.

In defending the articles, a lawyer for Bauer Media told the jury that the articles were substantially true, trivial, and unlikely to cause Ms Wilson harm.

Georgina Schoff, QC, said actors often lied about their age.

"They were not nasty articles," she said.

The articles appeared in magazines including Woman's Day and the Australian Women's Weekly.

Actor takes stand

Giving evidence on Tuesday, Ms Wilson spoke of her 'bogan' upbringing, using the informal but not necessarily disparaging Australian word for being uncultured, or of low social status.

When asked to describe the meaning of bogan, the actor said she used it "very endearingly".

"Although now I would be a cashed-up bogan," she said.

Wilson described a childhood which included spending weekends at dog shows, often selling pet products.

She told the court her age was 37, and that she had legally changed her birth name, Melanie Elizabeth Bownds, to Rebel Elizabeth Melanie Wilson.

"I never expected to be in a court case having to prove every aspect of my life," she said.