A woman who alleges she was sexually harassed by Don Burke is taking legal action against the former TV host for rubbishing her claim in an interview on Nine’s A Current Affair.
According to a joint investigation by the ABC and Fairfax Media last year, freelance journalist Wendy Dent claims Burke requested she audition topless for a job on his well-known gardening show, Burke’s Backyard, which has been off the air since 2004.
However, Burke denied the allegations when they were put to him in an interview with A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw.
Court documents reveal Dent is accusing Burke of defamation in the TV interview by implying she lied about the sexual harassment accusation against him, and that she was involved in a witch hunt against the gardening expert.
The statement of claim filed by Dent’s lawyers said she had been “greatly injured in her credit, reputation and occupation and has been brought into public scandal, odium and contempt”, according to the ABC.
The statement also says Burke made “deliberately false attribution of blame to herself [Ms Dent] and his other victims”.
According to Fairfax, Burke will defend the imputations Dent alleges to have been conveyed on the basis they are true, and were made under both a statutory and a common law privilege.