ABC apologises to Ita’s ex-husband

The ABC has now formally apologised to Alasdair “Mac” Macdonald, over his characterisation in Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo following a defamation lawsuit.

The apology from the ABC and Southern Star was read out in the NSW Supreme Court this morning.

It follows Macdonald’s protests that scenes depicting him as a “selfish, irresponsible and pitiably weak man” who abandoned his family were untrue.

“The ABC and Southern Star accept that this is untrue,” the statement said.

“The ABC and Southern Star withdraw those suggestions unreservedly and apologise to Mr Macdonald and his family for them.”

The mini-series showed him, played by Nathan Page, as abandoning Ita Buttrose ahead of the birth of their son.

Macdonald wrote to the ABC last year saying the marriage lasted 13 years in all, continuing into the period after Cleo when Ita was the editor of the Women’s Weekly and after the birth of their son.

“The marriage actually continued for another three years after his birth before we separated,” he said.

“I had the pain of correcting the impression given and explaining to our adult children after all these years what had happened. I also had the pain of explaining to others including friends, relatives and associates, clients and strangers that what had been screened was not true.”

The case was settled out of court following mediation. The terms are subject to a confidentiality agreement.

Ita Buttrose was a consultant on the high-rating ABC miniseries.

Source: The Land


  1. Proposition Joe

    Interestingly enough, Paper Giants seems to have disappeared from iTunes and JB Hi Fi. Could this have something to do with this case?

  2. daveinprogress

    I really liked Paper Giants and its direction as well as acting, but the pivotal scene where Ita and Mac separate was poorly written and edited. I can see how shortchanged he might have felt – it may have been a script editing thing, or an editing thing to hasten the plot and bring in the duration under the 90 minutes per ep, but it did not feel like a satisfying piece of the narrative, that probably warranted a little more screen time, if it was showing how Ita became a single parent and juggling her career and ambition with her family.

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