I am sure many of us have wondered how some magazines get way with publishing the obvious lies they do about celebrities. Since the recent defamation case involving Australian actress Rebel Wilson who was awarded $4.5 million for damages after being defamed by the Woman’s Day and Woman’s Weekly, many medical surgeries across the country are going to need to find new reading material for their patients.
Defamation occurs where someone hurts the reputation of another by spreading false information about them. For Rebel to win her case she was able to show that her reputation was wrongly attacked by the magazines proving that the attack to her reputation was:
• “Published” (written, spoken, illustrated or posted on the internet) to at least one other person;
• That the material identified Rebel directly or indirectly; and
• The published material defamed her. To defame is to convey or impute a meaning about the person that lowers their reputation in the eyes of a reasonable person, or causes the person to be ridiculed, avoided or despised by members of the general public.
It was found in Rebel’s case that the publication of the defaming material damaged her career by depicting her as a serial liar, causing her to miss out on two Hollywood movie roles costing her a potential $6 million for each film.
The lesson to us all is simply don’t spread lies about someone and in this internet age where any person with a mobile phone can be a publisher think of Rebel’s case before you press that send or publish button.
Till next month, remember Peacockes Solicitors for any of your legal issues or needs.