After seven months of public bickering and acrimony, it looks as if Seven West Media are set to offer a final out of court sum to former employee and former mistress of the CEO, Amber Harrison.
After news of the affair became public last December, the two parties have engaged in a cold war of sorts to see who blinks first.
In late April, a judge in the dispute ordered the two parties into mediation; however, it had been unclear if this ever eventuated.
Media reports today suggest Seven’s lawyers have penned a final payout contract, although Harrison is yet to sign on the dotted line.
The Australian has reported that the deal being offered to Harrison includes a $50,000 payment for her legal expenses and an undisclosed amount for her personally.
In return, Harrison would agree to drop her legal proceedings against Seven where she is suing the broadcaster for failing to provide a safe workplace. That case was due to start in the NSW Supreme Court this Monday.
Harrison would also have to apologise for making statements that Worner had affairs with at least two other Seven employees. Harrison would have to apologise to the women she named in her legal documents, although she would not have to apologise to Worner himself.
An internal investigation by the Seven board has since cleared Worner of those allegations, which also inferred Worner had used cocaine on business trips.
What isn’t clear is the continuation of Harrison’s court-ordered gag order that prevents her from speaking publicly or posting to social media. Harrison reportedly has sensitive documents and even a laptop from her time at Seven that the broadcaster has repeatedly demanded she return.
It’s also not clear what Harrison’s final payout would be. When she was initially terminated by Seven in 2014 the former PA was paid $266,000 – $100,000 of which came out of Worner’s own pocket. She also left the company under a cloud that she’d misappropriated Seven credit cards to the tune of $250,000.
At the time Harrison engaged Harmers Workplace Lawyers and attempted to make a sexual harassment case against Seven following her two-year fling with Worner. In the process, Harrison racked-up a $330,000 (as yet unpaid) legal bill to Harmers.
Last week, B&T reported that Harmers had agreed to forgo the monies if Harrison dropped legal proceedings against the firm. However, the next day Harrison tweeted that no deal had taken place and it was “fake news”.
When the saga first broke at Christmas, there had been media reports Harrison wanted as much as $2 million to stay quiet. However, Seven heavyweights including Kerry Stokes and board member Jeff Kennett have said the company would not pay their former employee a further cent than she’d already been given.
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