Wilson defamation claim too large: defence

Melissa Iaria
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Wilson defamation claim too large: defence

Rebel Wilson's "extraordinarily large" special damages claim should be thrown out because she has failed to prove she suffered losses as a result of a series of defamatory magazine articles, a court has heard.

Wilson is seeking $A5.893 million in special damages - which would cover the loss of one film role - and general damages of $1.2 million, bringing total damages sought to an "extremely conservative" $7.093 million.

But publisher Bauer Media - which last week was found to have defamed Wilson in eight articles in May 2015 - branded the special damages claim "extraordinarily large" and made on the "most tenuous of bases".

Bauer Media defence barrister Georgina Schoff QC said Wilson is not entitled to special damages because she has failed to prove the publications caused her losses.

"The evidence does not establish on the balance of probabilities that the plaintiff has suffered actual financial loss," Ms Schoff told the Victorian Supreme Court on Thursday.

"Certainly, there is no sufficiently certain foundation that would enable this court to calculate an award of special damages."

The publisher of Woman's Day, Australian Women's Weekly, NW and OK magazine claimed the star was a serial liar about her real name, age and childhood to make it in Hollywood.

Ms Schoff told Thursday's hearing there is "not one scrap of paper" to show a link between the articles and Wilson's claim she was sacked from films Kung Fu Panda 3 and Trolls and missed out on two years' worth of lead roles because of them.

"Her career has really not skipped a beat. There's no actual evidence of damage being done to her," she said.

Wilson's defence team says general damages may exceed a $389,500 cap that will apply to Victorian defamation cases from July 1, if the judge finds an award of aggravation is warranted.

To support their case, they highlighted the orchestrated nature of the attack, the seriousness of the imputations, the publication of eight articles over three days, the large circulation and injury to Wilson's feelings.

However, Ms Schoff argued it was a wrong interpretation of legislation and the cap must apply.

She added any award will be a vindication for Wilson, who waited a year before taking legal action - a "telling" factor for the judge to take into account.

Hollywood agent and producer Peter Principato has testified Wilson was the hottest name around after her film Pitch Perfect 2 but her fame stopped and the only reason he could think of was the Bauer articles.

Wilson says any money she receives in damages from her defamation case will go to charity, scholarships or the Australian film industry.

Justice John Dixon reserved his decision, which will be delivered some time after July 1.