‘Complete lie’: Lisa hits back at ex-CEO of Nine

2 months ago 21

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Lisa Wilkinson has directly addressed the controversy surrounding her Today exit, sensationally accusing the ex-CEO of Nine of telling a “complete lie”.

    Lisa Wilkinson has hit out at the coverage surrounding the bombshells in her new autobiography, saying Nine Network’s then chief executive officer, Hugh Marks, told “complete lies” about her fight for equal pay.

    The TV presenter’s memoir, It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This, was only officially released today, but has been making headlines for weeks as juicy excerpts about her shock departure from the Today show in 2017 came to light – and were promptly disputed by industry sources.

    Speaking to ABC’s Radio National host Fran Kelly on Wednesday, Wilkinson lashed out at the headlines surrounding her book publicity for making it look like she was “lying” about the circumstances around her Nine exit.

    At the time, and in her memoir, The Project host, 61, claimed she had been axed from the network after demanding a salary increase to close a significant “gender pay gap” between herself and co-host Karl Stefanovic.

    Reports amid her departure from Nine in 2017 claimed that Wilkinson stood to secure a $700,000 pay rise, with her take home pay rising from $1.1 million to $1.8 million.

    The Nine Network’s then chief executive officer, Hugh Marks, hit out at Wilkinson in The Daily Telegraph at the time, publicly claiming she was offered a $1.8 million salary package but wanted $2.3 million – which would have pushed her well above Stefanovic’s annual salary of $2 million.

    Wilkinson addressed Marks’ claim directly in her interview with Radio National.

    “I didn’t ask for salary parity, ever. I asked for a fairer share of the spoils that were coming to a show that Karl and I had taken to number one,” she told the host.

    “I found out the salary Karl was on from two separate sources … and the gender pay gap was off the charts. The $2.3 million is a complete lie and has been constantly repeated – it is a complete lie.”

    Wilkinson explained that she hadn’t wanted to “go into the details” of the figures in her book, but that she now felt compelled to set the record straight.

    “That whole narrative was put out there to make me look greedy and like I’d risen above my station, but it was a narrative that I decided at the time not to get involved in,” she told Kelly.

    “Discussions like that are pretty unseemly, they’re pretty awful, and I’m the very first person to admit that when you do breakfast TV, you are paid a ridiculous salary.

    “But what was even more ridiculous was the size of the gender pay gap I had been experiencing for many, many years.”

    Just week, news.com.au reported that Wilkinson had actually been poached from Seven’s Weekend Sunrise to host the Today show in 2007 with a salary offer which was “more than double” Stefanovic’s – and that her pay had remained significantly higher than his for six of their 10 years together.

    But speaking on ABC radio this morning, Wilkinson claimed that by the time her final salary negotiations with Nine rolled around, Stefanovic’s salary had vastly eclipsed her own.

    “How big was that gap?” Kelly asked her.

    “Well I won’t say specifically, but we’re talking in the order of three times. And you know, there’s been all of these stories as well about how the person I was sitting next to (Stefanovic) was doing a whole lot more – well he got that opportunity and I didn’t,” Wilkinson replied, referencing Marks’ comments in 2017 about her numerous commercial arrangements outside Nine.

    “The reason we walked away from Lisa is because we are not able to secure those [other] rights with her,” the then-Nine CEO said at the time at the time.

    “She has a number of commercial rights with other parties. Her arrangement with the Huffington Post restricts our ability to engage with her digitally – we are ­restricted from engaging with her also on social media.

    “I hate the fact we have to compare her with Karl, but with him we have all those rights. With Lisa we do not.”

    It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This is available to buy from today.

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    Fast Legal Services in Dubai

    Fast Legal Services in Dubai