Actor Rebel Wilson has been stripped of almost 90 per cent of her record $4.7 million defamation payout and must also cover some legal costs of her courtroom opponents.
The Sydney-born Hollywood actress must repay magazine publisher Bauer Media $4.1 million, after the damages bill was reduced on appeal.
She also has to pay 80 per cent of Bauer’s appeal costs, following a Court of Appeal judgment on Wednesday.
Wilson was awarded a landmark $4.7 million payout in September 2017 after a defamation trial over a series of articles 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 and reduced her payout to $600,000.
The Court of Appeal on Wednesday ordered Wilson repay Bauer Media $4,183,071.45 – including $60,316.45 interest – after the original judgment was set aside.
It’s unclear if there is a deadline for the actress to return the money. Wilson is yet to comment on Wednesday’s ruling.
Bauer had been quick to hand over the original $4,749,920.60 payout, making a transfer 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.
After Bauer successfully appealed against the payout, Wilson did not dispute that the $4.1 million should be repaid.
But she argued interest should be charged at the prevailing Reserve Bank cash rate of 1.5 per cent, rather than the two per cent sought by Bauer.
The appeal court disagreed and on Wednesday ordered interest be paid at the higher rate.
The actor has previously said she planned to appeal against her reduced payout.
In awarding Bauer the costs of its appeal, justices Pamela Tate, David Beach and David Ashley also reiterated their criticisms about the publisher.
“As we said in our original judgment, Bauer seriously defamed Ms Wilson,” they wrote.
“Its defamation had a devastating personal effect on her. Moreover, Bauer published what it knew to be false for the purpose of maximising its own commercial opportunities.”
During the four-week 2017 defamation trial, Wilson cried as she said “vulture” journalists from Bauer ripped her to shreds and ruined her years of hard work to make it in Hollywood.
The six-woman jury decided in favour of Wilson, finding the articles from Woman’s Day, Australian Women’s Weekly, NW and OK magazine were not substantially true and were likely to harm her.