Melissa George has denied she made comments about Australia some years ago, in which it was reported she preferred to spend time in France or the US than her home country.
Speaking to Kyle and Jackie O today, she said, “I never said that at all, and I let it go and it got huge. We were laughing. I never said anything negative about my country.
“It was all swapped around and put in the wrong context. People know me. I find light in sad situations and that’s what happened.
“But you know I think it’s obvious that I’d much rather be having a Chardonnay in Perth or eating a vegemite sandwich than having a croissant in Paris.”
“So you just let that go? That wasn’t a quote of yours but just something that sort of got away from you?” Jackie O asked.
“Oh gosh yeah, absolutely. But I know that that’s the way it works, I’ve been doing it 20 years and I know that certain things get said and people can perceive what’s written in the way that they want to,” George replied.
Last week Fairfax journalist Christine Sams, who authored the original George interview, wrote how she regretted that the article had attracted such negativity for George over the subsequent years. Sams also admits she egged George on when it was clear she was angry about a Seven interview with Larry Emdur & Kylie Gillies, who had asked her about her Home and Away fame.
“….she was clearly keen to vent her frustration about it to someone. It probably didn’t help, either, that about five minutes into our chat, I too was asking her about the Angel role, which had made her a household name,” Sams writes.
“If I’m honest, at the time, her reaction felt comical. In many ways, as journalists are trained to do, I egged her on with further questions, not quite believing the unedited verbal spray she was having at the other end. As someone who has interviewed countless local and international celebrities over the years – most of them media-trained to within an inch of their life – it is very rare to hear a high-profile actor going off script.”
But there is no denial that the comments were made, regardless of the context.
Melissa George’s quote today has now thrown the whole sorry saga back into the spotlight, because she is effectively suggesting the quote was manufactured or refashioned.
Oddly, last week on Sunday Night Melissa George also claimed responsibility for her comments.
“I know I’ve said before ‘I would rather be in France.’ I know I did not nice things to my country,” she told Steve Pennells.
“I was in a bad space and I know there will be people writing in saying ‘Ha ha’ and ‘Watch what you wish for.’ I understand all of that and I take full responsibility for that.”
In a follow-up message last night, amid her publicised family dispute, she told Sunday Night, “I love you all, I love my country.”