Mag writer didn't contact Rebel for years

Amber Wilson
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Mag writer didn't contact Rebel for years

Mag writer didn't contact Rebel for years

A magazine writer who Rebel Wilson claims defamed her says she never intended the story to be "mean", instead she hoped to play it up as a "fun" story, a court has heard.

Woman's Day reporter Shari Nementzik told the court she never met or contacted the Hollywood star following information from an anonymous source because "that wasn't how these stories usually work".

Two-and-a-half years before the controversial story ran, the source told the reporter the actor fabricated much of her background.

Her article, "Just who is the REAL Rebel" was published in May 2015 quoting the source from Wilson's high school.

The informant claimed the Pitch Perfect star had added a touch of "fantasy" to "make it in Hollywood".

In the Supreme Court of Victoria on Monday, Ms Nementzik admitted Woman's Day first spoke to the anonymous source in October 2012.

She held onto the source's claims until the release of Pitch Perfect 2, when there was a "lot of hype" surrounding the Australian export.

Wilson, 37, is suing Bauer Media, the publisher of Woman's Day, Australian Women's Weekly, NW and OK! Magazine for a series of eight articles that she claims ruined her career by portraying her as a serial liar.

Wilson says she has never lied to journalists about her real name, age or childhood, and claims the articles caused serious damage to her career for nearly two years, a period in which she was sacked from two DreamWorks films.

Ms Nementzik told the court everyone knows tabloid magazines work on "cheque book journalism" in order to secure stories, and that her anonymous source was negotiating for payment between $2000 and $8000.

She agreed with Wilson's lawyer, Matthew Collins QC, that she had not contacted the Bridesmaids and Fat Pizza star for comment.

"That wasn't how these stories usually work," Ms Nementzik told the court.

She said she never intended the story to be "mean", instead hoping to play it up as a "fun" story.

Former Australian Women's Weekly writer Caroline Overington earlier told the court she felt "duped" after publishing an article containing what she says were lies told by the Hollywood star.

Overington said Wilson had lied about being younger than her real age and lied about being named Rebel at birth, when she was actually called Melanie Bownds.

The Bauer articles also claim Wilson made up other untruths, including being related to Walt Disney.

Logie-winning actor Hugh Sheridan, known for his role in Packed to the Rafters, supported Wilson via video link from Los Angeles, telling a story about how the pair had visited a secret Disneyland apartment with "magic buttons".

"You push a button and a train will go... above the bed is a picture of what looks like a lake or a swamp and when you push the button mermaids appeared in pictures."