Rebel Wilson Sues Magazine Publisher Over 'Nasty' Articles

Rebel Wilson speaks to the media outside the Victoria Supreme Court on 19 May.

The articles appeared in magazines including Woman's Day and the Australian Women's Weekly.

Following a jury empanelment on Monday morning in Melbourne, opening addresses by Wilson's lawyer and the counsel for Bauer Media are expected to start at 2.15 pm Australian time (4.15pm NZ time).

The actress said she was nicknamed Rebel and in 2002 made a decision to legally change her name to Rebel Elizabeth Melanie Wilson, taking her mother's maiden name after her parents separated.

The articles said Rebel had lied about her name, age and upbringing in Australia.

Collins said that, in the wake of the articles, Wilson stopped being offered roles, was sacked from several films, began taking sleeping tablets and developed a stress rash on her arms and around her mouth.

Real Rebel worked to suppress her own grin.

She denied claims from Bauer's defence counsel that the articles, which she says portrayed her as a serial liar and a fake, were light-hearted in tone and had no serious effect on her.

Wilson is suing for unspecified damages.

She also said the star went to an elite boarding school and did not grow up "in a ghetto". "I don't know what other words you would use apart from nasty to describe these articles", she said.

Three days before publishing the article at the centre of the trial, Woman's Day editor-in-chief Fiona Connolly voiced concerns about it.

He told the court how the actor, whose first notable role in the Australian landscape was SBS comedy series Fat Pizza, was subsequently fired from a number of movie roles.

Wilson returned to Australia and chose to become an actress after finishing an arts-law degree at the University of New South Wales.

"These articles were a deliberate malicious take-down of me", the actress testified.

"My mum's obsessed with dogs", Wilson said.

As the court adjourned for lunch, Ms Wilson could be heard commenting to her solicitor about the courage it might have taken the only two jurors who asked to be excused.

It was also claimed Wilson told Overington that her aunt was married to Walt Disney and gave her special access to the entertainment park as a child. "I have no current job", she said.

  • Joe Gonzales