Channel Seven may have succeeded in gagging its former employee, Amber Harrison, in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday, but the questions remain – for how long and what exactly does Tim Worner’s former lover have in her possession?
Yesterday’s gag order was allowed to continue with the court deciding Harrison’s motives were borne out of revenge and a simple desire to destroy Worner’s career.
As Seven’s senior counsel Andrew Bell told the court: “On the very eve of signing the first deed Miss Harrison is assembling for her own disgraceful purposes with some malice…what on earth was she taking screen shots other than to deploy to her advantage or leverage in the future?”
On Tuesday, Harrison’s lawyers – who wanted the suppression order lifted – presented the Judge with a USB stick containing 900 pages of documents said to be relevant to the case.
During the hearing yesterday, it was revealed that Harrison had full access to Worner’s personal emails even after their relationship ended in 2014. The court heard that after the relationship had soured Harrison set about building a dossier of dirt on Worner.
Seven was aware that Harrison had taken sensitive company information and when she failed to return it – as was agreed as part of her termination – the network ceased her rolling severance payout of $427,418.
Apparently, Worner was unaware his emails were being read by his former mistress who’d allegedly accessed them via the CEO’s PA, Alison Brown, who’d given Harrison Worner’s email log-in details, password and access to his daily calendar. The allegation reported on The Daily Telegraph today.
Rather than be disciplined by the network for revealing her boss’ personal correspondence, Brown was later promoted to a producer role on Seven’s The Morning Show. According to Brown’s LinkedIn profile, it’s a position she still holds.
It appears Brown and Harrison were close chums at Seven West Media when Harrison was assistant to Pac Mag boss Nick Chan. The Daily Telegraph reporting that the two regularly exchanged emails that appear to have “ridiculed their bosses”.
The article also revealed some of the emails between the two, including one by Harrison that said: “I’m … just powerful now — I just got everything … new ball game.”
Brown apparently offered to help Harrison with receipts relating to expenses involving alleged fraud of company credit cards – reported to be as much as $262,000. However, Harrison has repeatedly denied the claim.
In one email Brown wrote: “If you get your receipts together I can chip away at your spendvision. Then Nick (Chan) can buy me the (expensive shoe brand) Sophia Websters hahaha.”
To which Harrison is said to have replied: “I love you. I will do today after I am finishing destroying your idiot boss (presumably Worner).”
Seven wants the gag order to continue indefinitely as, its lawyers argue, Harrison agreed to the terms when she accepted the termination payout. However, Harrison wants the ban lifted believing she has done no wrong.
Interestingly, on Tuesday both Fairfax Media and News Corp attempted to have the gagging order lifted, arguing Harrison deserved to have her side to the story heard. However, the Judge ruled against the request.