Wilson genealogist stands by research

Darren Cartwright
Wilson genealogist stands by research

A US genealogist cited in Rebel Wilson's defamation trial is standing by his research the Hollywood star is not related to cartoonist Walt Disney.

Los Angeles-based Dale Sheldon posted his findings on his blog more than a year ago.

Mr Sheldon, who has been a genealogist for more than two decades, was intrigued when the Australian actor told The Graham Norton Show in the UK 2015 she was a distant relative of Disney's.

"It's such a close connection that she referenced," Mr Sheldon told AAP. "It was something that got me curious."

Mr Sheldon's research ended up conflicting with Wilson's belief.

"It wasn't my intention to confront her or call her out on it," he said.

"In genealogy, we find a lot of errors all the time and those errors get perpetuated through generations."

Wilson, born Melanie Bownds, has said her grandmother told her that her great-aunt was Lillian Bounds, Disney's wife.

She recently told the jury in her defamation trial against Bauer Media her family changed the spelling of their surname Bounds to Bownds because of teasing.

Wilson also told the court her grandmother had researched the family tree, confirming the familial link to Disney's wife.

Mr Sheldon said he found Lillian Bounds had nine siblings but could not trace them to Wilson.

The actor on Thursday won her defamation case against Bauer.

"I know my life story, I've lived it, I'm proud of it and had nothing to hide," she said outside the court.