Amber Harrison has been ordered to pay Seven’s legal costs, which are expected to bankrupt her, following her affair with CEO Tim Worner.
The NSW Supreme Court today ruled her social media posts had breached a confidentiality agreement in which the company agreed to pay her $427,418 in instalments for her silence.
Justice John Sackar found she acted “unreasonably” and ordered her to pay all the company’s legal costs. Costs are expected to amount to $250,000.
“The defendant (Harrison) has not satisfied me of any grounds for why she should not pay the costs,” he said.
In ruling against Harrison, Justice John Sackar delivered a blistering critique for running a case in the New South Wales Supreme Court without any admissible evidence to support her claims against Seven.
“These proceedings have, from the outset, been engulfed in a vitriolic atmosphere,” Justice Sackar said in his published judgement.
“The allegations from both sides, whether entirely true or not, have often been personal, scandalous, and sadly ripe for media and public consumption.”
The court action followed the collapse of mediation — the third between Seven and Harrison — over the fallout of her affair with Worner which began in 2012, and once it ended, exploded spectacularly into a three-year-battle over Harrison’s departure.
Harrison, who was not in court today, has already agreed to an order preventing her from speaking publicly about her affair with Worner or releasing information about the Seven Network.
Updated: Her Twitter profile denotes “Under a suppression order” but she has said the court helped Seven to bankrupt her.
Statement from Seven:
Seven West Media welcomes the Supreme Court decision today.
The Court found that Ms Harrison engaged in numerous breaches of the settlement deed and her employment and these breaches were persistent and flagrant.
It found that Seven had every entitlement to commence proceedings under the Deed and conducted the
proceedings in an entirely orthodox and proper fashion.
The Court also rejected Ms Harrison’s contention that her rights under the settlement deed were manipulated by Seven.
The Court also found that Ms Harrison was given every opportunity to desist from her breaches, consent to the orders earlier and settle with Seven West Media from 27 February 2017.
Ultimately, Ms Harrison put on no evidence in support of her claims, which the Court held was because no such evidence existed.
It is regrettable that people Ms Harrison falsely and unfairly named in her failed Human Rights Commission complaint were forced to take separate proceedings to protect their names.
Seven West Media looks forward to putting this matter behind us.