Kenny rejects ABC offer on Defamation case

ABC sends an ‘Open Letter’ to Chris Kenny's lawyers and media -but he is having none of it.

-the-hamster-wheelSKY News presenter Chris Kenny has rejected an offer from the ABC to withdraw his Defamation case.

Kenny is suing the ABC, Giant Dwarf productions and presenter Andrew Hansen for an episode of The Hamster Wheel in which it depicted him having sex with a dog.

Despite receiving a belated apology from ABC Managing Director Mark Scott the ABC has not broadcast an apology. But The Chaser has indicated the skit was clearly satirical.

ABC sent an ‘Open Letter’ to his lawyers and media offering not to seek legal costs if it wins the case.

”We understand from various media coverage of the Proceedings that your client has stated that an apology from the ABC would have avoided litigation. Further, we note that your client stated in an interview given to Channel 9 on 5 March 2014 that he did not believe that taxpayers should be paying for the ABC to defend this matter,” it reads.

“The first defendant is confident that your client will be unsuccessful in his appeal,’’ it states.

“Should your client withdraw the appeal proceedings prior to close of business next Monday, 26 May 2014, the first defendant confirms that it will not pursue any costs incurred in relation to the appeal to date.”

But Kenny told The Australian, for whom he also writes, that he was not backing down.

“After forcing me to incur considerable costs over more than seven months, Mark Scott eventually issued an apology that was immediately repudiated by the producers of the program,’’ he said.

“No apology has yet been broadcast on the ABC and none received from the producers of the program. And despite Mr Scott saying he was sorry for the distress caused to me and my family by the program and the delay in the apology, the best the ABC can do is try to bully me by circulating a letter to journalists before I was even aware of it.

“People might expect better of a government authority. My lawyers are proceeding with the case.”

7 Responses

  1. I think the ABC have a chance of winning this one. Is Kenny’s reputation seriously going to be injured by a photoshopped picture of him appearing on tv? Was it in poor taste? Yep. That was the point. Was it defamatory? We will have to wait and see what the courts say.

  2. Kenny didn’t originally ask for money, only an apology. The ABC refused.

    Sending out an open letter trying to intimidate Kenny with the threat that they will hire lots of lawyers and threaten him with the costs pretty much guarantees Kenny wouldn’t accept the token apology.

  3. Good on Chris Kenny. Personally I don’t like the fella, but in this instance I think he should stand his ground.

    Humor is always individualistic, but this sketch was cringe worthy and really just offensive to Chris and the viewers as well. Sometimes you need to accept that there are consequences and accept your responsibility for your part of the act.

  4. ABC have mishandled this so badly, they’re clearly in the wrong, they should have at least offered some money so that it’s Kenny that looks bad for not accepting, yet they seem intent on losing this battle on every level – better get the money truck ready

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