Actress and comedian Rebel Wilson, known for her starring roles in Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect, is suing magazine publishing company Bauer Media for falsely accusing her of lying her way into Hollywood.
According to the writ that was filed to the Victorian Supreme Court on Monday, Aussie mags Woman’s Day, The Australian Women’s Weekly, New Weekly and OK!, all of which fall under the Bauer Media umbrella, made Wilson out to be a compulsive liar.
The writ states that the feature articles were timed to coincide with the release of Pitch Perfect 2 in order to attract maximum attention, and claimed that Wilson had lied about her age, her background and even her name in order to get ahead in the industry.
Details in the writ claim that Wilson was defamed last year in a Woman’s Day article titled “Just Who Is The REAL Rebel?” making claims that she is a “serial liar who has invented fantastic stories in order to make it in Hollywood”. This particular article states that she lied about her age, her name, her upbringing, and that she had lived in Zimbabwe for a year.
This was followed by a second article published in Women’s Weekly that claims she told lies on Late Show With David Letterman, again regarding her age and upbringing, stating that she had been raised in an under-privileged rural NSW suburb, rather than the Sydney suburb of Cherrybrook.
Additional articles were also published about Wilson in the other magazines published by Bauer Media.
At the time, Rebel spoke out about ageism in Hollywood. “Being an actress it affects women more than men in terms of ageism and sexism so to be called out by the press on something most sensible business-minded people would have done in my position, it was a bit hurtful,” she told WHO Australia magazine.
“When you’re an actor, you have what’s called a playing range; to me, it’s not really beneficial having your age written anyway.”
Aside from losing both promised and potential roles as a result of the articles, the writ explains that Wilson has “been gravely injured in her feelings, credit and reputation, has been humiliated and embarrassed and has suffered loss and damage, including special damage.”
She is seeking damages, permanent injunctions stopping Bauer Media from publishing the articles plus interest and costs.