Rebel Wilson is currently embroiled in a defamation case against Bauer Media, the publisher of Woman’s Day magazine, alleging that they painted her as a compulsive liar in a series of articles with no legitimate basis. As the hearings continue, even weirder details of Wilson’s dealings with magazine staff have emerged.
The Guardian reports that on Friday, journalist Caroline Overington took the stand and gave testimony that Wilson told her a series of strange tales that she later believed to be lies, including a story about the name “Rebel,” alleging Wilson denied Melanie Elizabeth Bownds was her legal name, and claimed she was 29 when she was really in her 30s:
Overington said Wilson told her a story about being related to Walt Disney and getting exclusive access to a “super secret” and “magical” apartment where waterfalls would start to move in pictures on the wall or the lights would suddenly twinkle.
Overington said she introduced herself to the star while she was having her hair and makeup done, to “establish rapport”, confirming her age was 29 and that her “real name” was Rebel.
Overington said Wilson replied “yes” before launching into a story about how her mother chose the name Rebel.
This conversation was said to have taken place while Wilson was getting her hair and makeup done. Her hairdresser Gavin Anesbury testified that a woman did speak with Wilson while she was in the chair, but he doesn’t remember who. Wilson denies this “pre interview” with Overington ever took place.
Yahoo News reports that these revelations followed a slew of Rebel Wilson’s relatives coming in on Thursday to share odd details about their family life, including a defense of her name being “Rebel.” Though the name isn’t on her birth certificate, Wilson’s mother apparently wanted it to be, testifying that she “bent to the pressure” from her husband and parents to officially name Rebel something else. But, she “always considered her daughter’s true name to be Rebel despite it not being on the original birth certificate,” reports The Australian. The name supposedly comes from one of her former students, Rebel Bissaker. Bissaker herself took the stand and explained that she has long understood Rebel to be named after her
Wilson’s sisters Annarchi and Liberty also attested to their mother’s love of unusual names, saying it was a tradition that had continued in the family to Wilson’s niece, Sovereign. They had even considered naming a child of the family “Disney,” because they believe they have a distant connection to Walt. If that’s a delusion, it’s one the entire group shares: according to the Herald Sun, Walt Disney has been brought up frequently throughout the trial. Apparently, Wilson was even offered a spot on the SBS documentary series Who Do You Think You Are?, which traces celebrity genealogy:
Wilson was born Melanie Bownds while Walt Disney married Lilian Bounds.
The actor has told the jury her family changed the spelling of Bounds because of taunts and teasing over its spelling, saying people would joke about them being, “out of bounds”.
When asked whether she seriously thought the story of her being related to Disney was more than simple fantasy, Wilson said “definitely”.
In an interview outside the court, Wilson stated, “It’s a very strange experience to have to prove your own life story.” That’s for sure true, especially when it involves family ties to the creator of Mickey Mouse.