Amber Harrison’s legal team has fired another shot across Seven West Media’s (SWM) bow, alleging that staffers at Seven had spoken publicly about Harrison’s reported misuse of company credit cards, and in doing so breached its own confidentiality that accompanied her termination payout.
Harrison, the former mistress of SWM CEO Tim Worrner, is currently trying to sue her former employer in the NSW Supreme Court for alleged breaches of the Fair Work Act and her employment contract. It has been reported the now unemployed PA wants as much as $2 million.
However, explosive new revelations have been revealed on ABC online today that infer Seven employees publicly spoke about Harrison’s apparent indiscretions surrounding the credit cards and even mentioned her termination payout to journalists.
According to the article, Harrison’s lawyers claim Seven’s current director of corporate affairs Simon Francis told Seven West’s then-director of news Rob Raschke that Harrison was sacked from the company because “she had ripped off Seven to the tune of $200,000”. The conversation apparently happened at the Walkley Awards in December 2014 just weeks after Harrison left SWM with a reported $350,000-$400,000 payout.
In February 2015, Raschke allegedly spoke to the Australian Financial Review’s Rear Window editor Joe Aston, repeating the claim and using words to the effect that she “has ripped off Seven to the tune of $200,000”.
Where Harrison’s lawyers got both pieces of information is unclear.
In a cross-claim filed in the NSW Supreme Court, Harrison’s lawyers claimed SWM failed to ensure its directors “did not make any adverse statement, publicly disparage” or otherwise bring Harrison into disrepute.
Harrison’s legal team also argue that the public airing of both her termination and payout and the “disparagement” of its client was a breach of deed of her settlement for alleged injury including loss of professional standing and reputation, pain and suffering while working at SWM.
SWM claim that Harrison took sensitive documents when she left the company and when she failed to return them, as agreed as part of her payout, the media company stopped the monies and cut off all contact with Harrison.
Harrison’s lawyers also claim the investigation into her misuse of company credit cards caused her great “pain and humiliation”, the ABC has reported.
Last Friday, Harrison shocked everyone when she was represented in court by high profile QC Julian Burnside. And she’ll be praying for a win. Even before Burnside had been recruited Harrison had reportedly blown all her SWM payout and still had $330,000 in unpaid legal bills.
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