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Rebel Wilson's $4.5 million payout is almost as much as her past movie paychecks combined

9The FIX logo 9The FIX 14/09/2017

 Video provided by Nine News

Rebel Wilson's landmark defamation win has exposed some seriously shocking details about how little the actress was paid in her early Hollywood career. 

On Wednesday, the 37-year-old Pitch Perfect star won an "unprecedented" AU$4.56 million in a lawsuit against Bauer Media, the publisher of Woman's Day, over a series of articles that painted her as a serial liar.

It was the largest defamation payout in Australia's history, with Victorian Supreme Court Justice John Dixon ruling the actress should receive $650,000 in general damages, and $3.97 million in special damages.

The sum is four times the Australian record for defamation payouts, but perhaps the more baffling finding buried within the 136-page judgement, is the dismal amount of money the actress received for her early Hollywood roles.

According to the court document, shortly after moving to Los Angeles in 2009, Rebel landed her breakout role as Kristen Wiig's roommate in Bridesmaids, where she was paid just US$3,000 (AU$3,759).  

The US$32 million film was hugely successful and went on to make $288 million worldwide. But if you thought the rising star had it in the bag from there, you'd be gravely mistaken.

Take a look below at her remuneration (excluding royalties and bonuses) for the movies that followed.


Bridesmaids: US$3,000

Pitch Perfect: US$65,000

Ice Age: Continental Drift: US$20,000

What to Expect When You’re Expecting: US$35,000

Bachelorette: US$15,000

Struck by Lightning: US$12,000

Small Apartments: US$5,000

Pitch Perfect 2: US$2 million

Super Fun Night: US$2 million

Those paychecks combined equate to US$4,155,000 (AU$5,185,440), only just surpassing the actress' AU$4.5 million payout from Bauer Media.

When bonuses and royalties are factored in, her overall total comes to US$6.4 million (AU$8 million), but that's still not even double the payout.

Taking to Twitter following the ruling, Rebel told fans it "wasn't about the money", and that she planned on donating the damages to charity and the Australian film industry.  

With the actress expected to be paid up to US$6 million (AUD$7.5 million) for Pitch Perfect 3, due out in December, Rebel can rest easy now.

But the judgement certainly brings to light the uncertain reality she, and so many, experience in the early days of their Hollywood careers.  

Today was the end of a long and hard court battle against Bauer Media who viciously tried to take me down with a series of false articles. When the jury delivered its verdict they answered every single question in my favor. I am eternally grateful to those ladies. Today Justice Dixon gave his considered full judgement. He accepted that Bauer Media subjected me to a sustained and malicious attack timed precisely to the launch of Pitch Perfect 2. It was hurtful and devastating that a corporation would do something like that, knowing that their paid anonymous source and stories were dodgy. The learned judge accepted without qualification that I had an extremely high reputation and that the damage inflicted on me was substantial. He said that the nature of this aggravated defamation and the unprecedented extent of its dissemination (meaning it caused a worldwide media firestorm) makes vindication of particular importance. It was important for me to set the record straight, especially because I have so many young fans. I also feel like it's important to stand up to bullies. I have been awarded a record sum from Justice Dixon. I will be putting that money to good use by donating it to charity and investing in an Australian film ( but obviously can't say exactly or do anything now as I won't receive the money until everything is finalized). I thank Justice Dixon so much. And I'm looking forward to getting back to entertaining everyone!

A post shared by Rebel Wilson (@rebelwilson) on


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