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    “Devastated”: Lisa Wilkinson addresses Logies speech fallout and The Project departure

    Lisa Wilkinson has detailed her now-infamous Logies speech and subsequent dumping from The Project, telling the Federal Court “how devastated I was at being taken off-air for several months and the lack of plans for me to return to air”.

     A new affidavit covers the speech that eventually delayed the criminal trial of Bruce Lehrmann, and criticises Channel Ten bosses for not following through on promises to give her access to crisis communications PR in the aftermath. 

    The affidavit was submitted to the Federal Court by Wilkinson and her lawyers in regards to who will pay her legal fees – calling Ten’s decision not to pay her original expenses “intentionally cruel and wholly disingenuous.”

    “Ten was content to leave me isolated to take the sole blame for the Logies’ speech,” Wilkinson said.

    She also told the court that the speech had been approved by Ten’s lawyers ahead of Logies night – a fact she “begged” Ten to make public.

    “I was asking Channel 10 to admit the role that they had played, because I was being portrayed in the media as legally irresponsible.

    “I had taken significant steps to make sure that that speech was legally responsible before I went anywhere near that stage.”

    “I had been begging them to make clear publicly… they had asked me to give the speech, they had been involved in legalling that speech,” Wilkinson told the court.

    The affidavit also speaks to how Lisa Wilkinson was removed from The Project in November 2022 rather than depart of her own choice, a move that she reflects on by saying “I was shocked, embarrassed and deeply disappointed by Ms McGarvey’s decision to remove me.

    “At that time, my most recent contract as co-host of The Project had only been signed 11 months before and still had more than two years to run.”

    Wilkinson continues, saying that her agent, Nick Fordham, met with Paramount ANZ executive vice president, chief content officer, and head of Paramount+, Beverley McGarvey. He was told that The Project was undergoing a “rebrand” at the time, which came with a change in the hosting lineup. 

    She also reports being told that “because there had been too much heat on me in the months since the Logies speech – and, as a result, too much ‘brand damage’ – it was best that I be removed from my hosting role on The Project.”

    After the dust had settled on her departure, the affidavit details a list of questions that Lisa Wilkinson sent McGarvey on February 8, 2023.

    Some of these questions, listed as “Questions for Bev if she has the courage to meet on Friday” were:

    • “Why have we never met, been given the details of, or had the opportunity to engage with, Ten’s ‘Crisis Comms team?’”
    • “What evidence do Ten have to show us of their ‘crisis comms’ work?”
    • “What is Bev’s plan for the ‘interview series’ I am now contracted to do?” – Wilkinson wrote in reference to a series that was designed to replace her role on The Project
    • “Who will be EPing, what is the time slot, production budget, marketing budget…what calibre of interview subject does she envisage for the three episodes that will have any kind of ratings cut-through that such a short-lived ‘series’ would justify?
    • “What steps is Ten currently taking to protect my reputation in the press?
    • “Given the ongoing, serious reputational damage done to me whilst following to the absolute letter all advice given to me up to, including and since the Logies speech – a speech cleared by Ten Legal and Bev herself prior to the speech being given – what does she intend to do to fix it?’

    The affidavit concludes that no meeting took place.

    The post “Devastated”: Lisa Wilkinson addresses Logies speech fallout and The Project departure appeared first on Mediaweek.

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