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    Seven settles defamation case with man wrongly named as Bondi attacker

    Seven has settled a defamation claim with the man it incorrectly named as the Bondi Junction attacker, reaching an out-of-court settlement on confidential terms.

    Seven West Media’s new CEO Jeff Howard also signed a letter apologising to Benjamin Cohen, after he was mistakenly named on-air on Sunrise the morning after the Bondi attack.

    Later that day, police confirmed the attacker was actually 40-year-old Joel Cauchi.

    “Seven withdraws the false allegations unreservedly and apologises to you for the harm you and your family have suffered as a result of Seven’s statements about you,” the letter says.

    “Seven’s staff, including especially its on-air presenters Mr Shirvington and Ms McLeod, are devastated that the error was made and that it has affected you.

    “Seven wishes to assure you that the error originated at the producer level and that Seven’s presenters were in no way involved in suggesting or scripting the words which were published.

    “Whilst Seven does not suggest that it is relevant to your reaction, we nevertheless note that the staff members involved are deeply remorseful and traumatised by the mistake.”

    Seven apologised on the day it repeated the misinformation, which originated on social media platforms. It did not broadcast or publish any images of Cohen, a 20-year-old UTS student.

    In a statement, Cohen said: “Users who abuse a platform to target individuals or communities should be held accountable for the consequences of their actions, and platforms should be more accountable for the content they host.”

    Howard stepped into the role last week after James Warburton finished as CEO last Thursday, 18 April 2024, after weeks of reports to that effect.

    Warburton resigned in December 2023, at which point Seven said he would finish on or before 30 June 2024. The board met and Seven issued a statement to the ASX at 4:17pm last Thusday confirming Howard – the network’s former chief financial officer – would be CEO from Friday.

    The search for a CFO replacement continues. In the interim, Craig Haskins is acting CFO.

    The post Seven settles defamation case with man wrongly named as Bondi attacker appeared first on Mediaweek.

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