Channel Seven’s CEO Tim Worner’s position looks increasingly untenable with fresh allegations the married father-of-four had sexual relationships with as many as four women at the network, including two on-air personalities. There has also been allegations of cocaine use.
Seven West shares fell 7.98 per cent or almost $100 million on the salacious news of its CEO yesterday.
Yesterday, Seven West Media was forced to issue a media statement that admitted Worner had had an inappropriate relationship with a PA for the company, a Ms Amber Harrison. The release concluded that Worner would stay on as CEO.
The statement also said Harrison had been paid “a confidential settlement was entered into more than two years ago”. Media outlets this morning have reported that sum to be as high as $2 million and included a caveat that Harrison must destroy her mobile phone said to contain hundreds of lewd texts from Worner. It’s believed Harrison was paid $350,000.
It also read: “Tim Worner apologised at the time and now, for the inappropriate consensual relationship with Ms Harrison, that commenced prior to his appointment as chief executive, and has been working with the Board and Executive to ensure this improper behavior is not a part of Seven’s culture.”
However, The Australian is reporting that Worner continued to have a sexual relationship with Harrison even after she left Seven due to alleged anxiety caused by the affair. “Ms Harrison alleges during one tryst at a company retreat to celebrate Mr Worner’s appointment as chief executive the pair used drugs — a claim Seven declined to deny,” The Oz has reported.
Harrison took her case to the Human Rights Commission, however, never got a hearing. It’s believed that Harrison never got all the money she had been promised by Seven. However, News Corp has obtained a copy of her complaint and The Herald-Sun has reported that “four women are named… as having had affairs with the embattled” TV boss. The on-air personalities are said to be a high profile actress and presenter.
However, the newspaper article also quoted one source that said Worner’s indiscretions were “just the tip of the iceberg”.
“I could think of several more off the top of my head — and that’s not including those who turned him down.
“I’d imagine his charisma would be hard to refuse for some. Plus he’s the boss. You could never reject him outright and risk offending his ego. He was pretty persistent,” the source was quoted as saying.
However, as Fairfax succinclty penned this morning: “Shareholders would be rightly appalled that staff would be paid for their silence about management indiscretions and that the chief executive would be engaged in activity that breaches ethical boundaries and the company’s code of conduct for directors.
“If Harrison is to be believed Seven is marked by an entrenched sexist culture that prevails and provides that a male executive behaving badly is rewarded and protected while the company will destroy the woman who stands up to it,” journalist Elizabeth Knight wrote.