Former Prisoner star Maggie Kirkpatrick has taken aim at media reporting of her recent child abuse case, after repeated images of her as ‘The Freak.’
Front page headlines on the case, of which she was recently cleared, depicted Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson in grim and suggestive scenes.
She told Studio 10 linking her personal life to that of her former character was journalism of the worst kind.
“Was it Maggie Kirkpatrick or was it Joan Ferguson? That’s what it seemed to be, to me. And I have never experienced such pain or cruelty as was foisted upon me by the mass media at that time,” she said.
“I felt sick and I felt betrayed, that these people have the temerity to judge me. They don’t know me, they didn’t know the full facts and they chose to vilify me like that.
“The constant images were of the most brutal moments taken out of episodes of the black leather gloves, of the body searches of the bashing… you know that ‘look’ that I had. But that wasn’t Maggie Kirkpatrick.
“So was it Maggie Kirkpatrick being accused of this crime or was it Joan Ferguson?
“The lines were very blurred.
“Basically it was bad journalism wasn’t it?
“You know, let’s be real about it. It was bad reporting. Everything about it was salacious and sensational and we don’t want to go there anymore.
“I think it’s indicative of certain areas of our media that …well, frankly they need to be given a wide berth.”
But it an ironic twist TEN’s press release announcing its TV exclusive, was accompanied by a grim photo of her in character (pictured below), rather than out of costume.
Producer Rob McKnight told TV Tonight, “My understanding from the interview was that she was upset with the imagery that was used to depict the child sexual abuse allegations (i.e. the black latex glove being put on). We simply can’t be expected to ignore the role that made her famous, wouldn’t you agree?”
Earlier this month a judge cleared her of sexual allegations, ruling there was not enough evidence to convict her.