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Robert Irwin threatens to sue Pauline Hanson over "defamatory" cartoon

<p>Robert Irwin has threatened to sue One Nation leader Pauline Hanson for defamation. </p> <p>In the latest episode of Pauline Hanson's cartoon series <em>Please Explain</em>, Irwin claimed that he was mocked after it depicted him and Bluey promoting a new tourism campaign for Queensland.</p> <p>The episode satirically depicted Irwin attempting to show Bluey the best of Queensland, but mocked the state's housing crisis, youth crime, and health care. </p> <p>At one point in the cartoon, the pair mistake a long queue for a rental property for a line at Movie World. </p> <p>FC Lawyers, who are acting on behalf of the wildlife conservationist, have sent a cease and desist letter to StepMates Studios, the production team behind Pauline Hanson’s <em> </em>cartoon series.</p> <p>In the letter obtained by <em>NewsWire</em>,  Irwin's lawyer claimed that the cartoon is defamatory and  involves the “unauthorised and deceptive use of our client’s image”.</p> <p>“You are potentially liable to our client in respect of defamation, deceptive use of a person’s image, passing off and misleading and deceptive conduct,” the letter sates. </p> <p>“We will commence legal action against you if you do not take down the video immediately.”</p> <p>The letter also claims that the cartoon tarnished Irwin's reputation and misled the public, causing “significant harm to our client’s brand and image”.</p> <p>“We are concerned that the unlawful use of our client’s image may be an attempt to pass off yourself or party as currently being affiliated or otherwise authorised by us, which you are not,” it continues.</p> <p>“This unlawful use has the potential to mislead or deceive consumers into believing that you have.</p> <p>“The use of our client’s image and name on the video is capable of leading not an insignificant number of reasonable and/or ordinary people into erroneously believing that the Pauline Hanson is associated with Robert.”</p> <p>Some people have defended Irwin's move, saying: "It is Pauline Hanson who is the politician and she has a record of trying to sue others when offended."</p> <p>"She likes to dish it out but can’t take it which will cost her at the ballot box!"</p> <p>"What about when Pauline Hanson threatened legal action over Pauline Pantsdown," another added. </p> <p>However, a few others have called him a "snowflake" and told him to "grow up". </p> <p>"Your dad would [have] had a good laugh at Pauline's cartoon. Grow up, stop being a snowflake!" one person wrote on X.</p> <p>"Robert Irwin is very thin skinned he needs a laugh," another added. </p> <p><em>Images: news.com.au/ Instagram/ Getty</em></p>

Legal

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Student wrongly named as Bondi killer sues Seven Network

<p>A 20-year-old university student who was wrongly named as the Bondi Junction killer has made moves to sue the Seven Network for defamation. </p> <p>As the terrifying rampage at the eastern suburbs Westfield unfolded on Saturday which resulted in the deaths of six people, Ben Cohen was named by the Seven Network as the knife-wielding man. </p> <p>Mr Cohen’s name was wrongly linked to the attack by <em>Sunrise</em> co-host Matt Shirvington shortly after 6am on Sunday and again by journalist Lucy McLeod just 10 minutes later.</p> <p>It wasn't until hours later that Seven identified the right man, Joel Cauchi, as the killer as journalist Sarah Jane Bell issued an on-air apology to Mr Cohen during the evening news bulletin. </p> <p>“Earlier this morning, reports of the incident incorrectly named the perpetrator as 40-year-old Benjamin Cohen,” she said on air.</p> <p>“It was later confirmed that the name of the 40-year-old is Joel Cauchi from Queensland. Seven apologises for any distress caused by our earlier reports.”</p> <p>Mr Cohen is still reeling from the incident, saying he has been targeted by online trolls on social media ever since he was wrongly named by the network. </p> <p>His name was one of the most trending topics on X in Australia the day of the mass stabbing, with many people quick to point out Mr Cohen's Jewish identity, claiming the stabbings were an act of violence in support of the war in Israel against Palestine. </p> <p>The university student has taken the first steps in launching legal action against the network, engaging with two of Australia’s foremost defamation lawyers in Patrick George of Giles George as his solicitor, and Sue Chrysanthou SC as barrister.</p> <p>Mr George confirmed he had sent a concerns notice to Seven, the first step in defamation proceedings.</p> <p>“We await a response from Seven,” Mr George told NCA NewsWire.</p> <p>Mr Cohen told <em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/courts-law/student-wrongly-named-as-westfield-bondi-junction-killer-moves-to-sue-seven/news-story/f4c67b123e19cbf3d5a6a6bf39708ea8" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au</a></em> earlier this week that he had been inundated with friend requests and messages on social media after being named by Seven, with the unwanted attention taking a toll on his mental health. </p> <p>“It’s just gone crazy, it’s like ‘look, you’ve got the wrong guy’,” Mr Cohen, a first year computer science student, told news.com.au.</p> <p>“People don’t really think too hard about what they’re posting and how it might affect someone. It’s very dangerous how people could just make stuff up and destroy people’s lives.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: news.com.au</em></p>

Legal

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Father sues daughter over $1m lottery win

<p>In a tale of fortune turned sour, an Australian family has found itself entangled in a legal battle over a Tattslotto win worth nearly $1 million.</p> <p>William John Bampton, a 92-year-old resident of Twin Waters on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, saw his life take an unexpected turn when he took out the $986,000 lottery jackpot in March 2018. However, the joyous occasion quickly gave way to family discord as Bampton sought to reclaim a $300,000 "gift" he had given to his daughter, resulting in an ugly legal dispute that has left the elderly father estranged from his two children.</p> <p>A Brisbane District Court ruling last month has shed light on the core of the dispute. Following his lottery win, Bampton embarked on a property purchase journey, putting down a $50,000 deposit on a four-bedroom Mountain Creek home. Eventually, he co-purchased the property with his son Larry, contributing a total of $505,030. However, the contentious issue arose when, in August of the same year, he gifted $300,000 to his daughter, Suzanne.</p> <p>The $300,000 transaction became a point of contention as Bampton sought to set aside the cash, alleging that he was unduly influenced or subjected to unconscionable conduct by his daughter. In court documents, Bampton claimed that an argument with his daughter in August 2018 left him feeling overwhelmed, pushing him to make the payment against his will. On the other side of the dispute, Suzanne insisted that her father willingly gifted her the $300,000.</p> <p>The Brisbane District Court, in a comprehensive 39-page judgment, acknowledged the extensive evidence presented by both parties. Importantly, the court clarified that at the time of the hearing, Bampton did not have a dementia diagnosis. Despite Bampton's plea, Judge Sheridan dismissed the claim, suggesting potential orders for costs unless an agreement between the parties could be reached.</p> <p>The judge stated that Bampton, despite his age and medical conditions, had full capacity and well understood and managed his financial affairs. She found the gift to be fair, just and reasonable in the circumstances.</p> <p>The legal battle has taken a heavy toll on the Bampton family, leaving deep scars. Suzanne expressed her dismay, stating that the dispute had crushed her family. Larry, caught in the turmoil, revealed that his father had ceased communication with him. He lamented that nobody in the family emerged as a winner from this unfortunate situation, saying that the lottery win turned out to be one of the tragic stories associated with such windfalls.</p> <p>The case of the Bampton family serves as a cautionary tale about the potential consequences of financial windfalls on familial relationships. As they grapple with the aftermath of the legal battle, the family is left to reconcile the shattered bonds and scars that may take time to heal.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Legal

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Lisa Wilkinson sues Channel Ten

<p>Australian television personality Lisa Wilkinson is taking legal action against her former employer, Network 10, in a dispute that revolves around an alleged breach of agreement concerning the payment of legal costs incurred in their ongoing defamation case initiated by Bruce Lehrmann.</p> <p>According to a recent report by <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/lisa-wilkinson-sues-network-10-over-bruce-lehrmann-defamation-suit-costs/news-story/b796eceb7c9bf6f1700e5c4f27c6b27a" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Daily Telegraph</a>, Network 10 is refusing to cover two invoices totalling $723,000 for legal services that Wilkinson acquired when she hired prominent barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC and Gillis Delaney Lawyers partner Anthony Jefferies earlier this year.</p> <p>This decision by Wilkinson to engage her legal team instead of utilising Network 10's retained law firm, Thomson Geer, appears to be at the heart of the dispute.</p> <p>Wilkinson, a well-known media figure in Australia, left <em>The Project</em> in November 2022, citing being subjected to "targeted toxicity". This departure marked the beginning of a series of legal and professional challenges that have now culminated in her suing Network 10 in the New South Wales Supreme Court.</p> <p>Wilkinson's legal action claims that Network 10 had accepted liability to indemnify her in the defamation case, regardless of whether she chose to be "independently represented" or not. Network 10 has responded to these allegations by emphasising the importance of due process in justifying the substantial legal invoices. They expressed that their primary focus remains on defending the defamation suit brought by Bruce Lehrmann.</p> <p>Lehrmann is suing Network 10, Lisa Wilkinson, and the ABC for defamation in connection with their reporting of a sexual assault allegation made by Brittany Higgins in 2019. Lehrmann alleges that Wilkinson's interview with Higgins on <em>The Project</em>, which aired on February 15, 2021, conveyed a series of defamatory meanings, including the accusation that he had raped Higgins in then-defense industry minister Linda Reynolds' office in 2019. Despite the legal challenges, Wilkinson's interview with Higgins garnered critical acclaim, earning her two Walkley Award nominations and a Logie Award.</p> <p>After her departure from <em>The Project</em>, Paramount Australia executive vice president Beverley McGarvey indicated that they had plans for Wilkinson's future, expressing optimism about continuing their relationship with the renowned journalist. However, Wilkinson has not been seen on air since then, and her contractual obligations with Network 10 are reported to extend into the next year, with a deal rumoured to be worth seven figures.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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David Walliams sues BGT over leaked rant

<p>David Walliams is suing <em>Britain's Got Talent</em> over a foul-mouth hot mic rant that was leaked. </p> <p>The former <em>BGT</em> judge is seeking significant damages after show bosses stunned viewers with the announcement he had quit the show in November 2022 after 10 years on the judging panel. </p> <p>The comedian abruptly left the show after a transcript of vile comments he made about contestants while his microphone was on during a filming break was made public. </p> <p>In the leaked transcript he called an elderly gentleman a “c***” three times, and said of another contestant, “She thinks you want to f*** her, but you don’t”.</p> <p>The vulgar remarks were made during an auditions round at the London Palladium in January 2020, and were then leaked to the media. </p> <p>After the transcript was made public, Walliams issued a grovelling apology, while his legal team argued he had never intended for his remarks to be heard by contestants or the public.</p> <p>Despite his apology, Walliams resigned from the show two weeks later. </p> <p>Walliams, who is a hugely popular figure in the UK, filed legal proceedings at London’s High Court last week.</p> <p>The star is accusing Fremantle, the studio behind the ITV talent show, of a data protection breach over the leaked transcript which ultimately ended his decade-long judging career.</p> <p>In a statement issued before he quit, Walliams said, “I would like to apologise to the people I made disrespectful comments about during breaks in filming for <span id="U83896596806R9D"><em>Britain’s Got Talent</em> </span>in 2020."</p> <p>“These were private conversations and – like most conversations with friends – were never intended to be shared. Nevertheless, I am sorry.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <div class="media image" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin-bottom: 24px; display: flex; flex-direction: column; align-items: center; width: 705.202209px; max-width: 100%;"> </div>

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Expedition cruises - and what you should know before boarding one

<p dir="ltr"><em>It’s crucial to do your research before embarking on any new adventure, and New-Zealand based travel writer Sue Halliwell has drawn on her 15 years of cruise ship expedition experience to unpack such a trip, and the importance of coming prepared.</em></p> <p dir="ltr">I once took two New York socialites shoe shopping in the small New Zealand port of Napier. </p> <p dir="ltr">Both women had boarded our expedition cruise around New Zealand and its sub-Antarctic islands at Auckland with high heeled shoes as their only footwear, and by Napier it was evident that ‘elegant and elevated’ was actually a liability on nature walks, beach landings and a pitchy ocean.</p> <p dir="ltr">As the sole female on the ship’s expedition team, I was assigned the job of getting them adequately shod, discovering as I did that they also lacked warm gear and rain jackets. In fact, our A-listers appeared to know little about the nature of an expedition cruise on any level. While watching sperm whales off the South Island coast some days later, one asked me if, “these creatures live all their lives in the ocean?” adding “surely they come to land to give birth?” She looked incredulous when I set her straight, a reminder that appreciation of the natural world is a journey we each take at our own pace.</p> <p dir="ltr">They were the wives of two even higher profile Americans who were also aboard, and I’m picking the lads booked the cruise. First in line for every off-ship excursion and kitted out in top notch outdoor gear, these guys were onto it. But, somewhere the inter-spouse memo had gone astray, their other halves arriving better prepared for a traditional floating city, casino and cabaret cruise experience. </p> <p dir="ltr">They won’t be the first or last to make that mistake. So, what should our society gals have understood about an expedition cruise, and how might they have adjusted their expectations and packing lists had the memo actually reached them? </p> <p dir="ltr">Also known as an adventure or eco cruise, the Travel Industry Dictionary defines an expedition cruise as “typically aboard a smaller vessel, with an emphasis on the natural habitat of exotic destinations and responsible tourism. The term also implies a relatively expensive cruise with onboard experts in the ecology of the destination and a certain level of rigour, such as in Antarctic cruises.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Translated, that means you’ll be discovering coasts less travelled and their unique wildlife, landscapes and people. The ship will be small enough to nudge close to shore yet sizeable enough to handle mighty oceans. It will likely carry fewer than 200 passengers, and close to that number of crew, ensuring up-market service, dining and accommodation. </p> <p dir="ltr">Expedition cruise companies place great emphasis on responsible and sustainable travel, and protecting the natural and cultural environments visited. Indeed, many team with organisations such as National Geographic to present high quality environmental expertise, education and experiences, and actively support conservation and social projects in their target locations. </p> <p dir="ltr">As you would expect of sumptuous travel to remote destinations with the rarest of nature and best of guides, expedition cruises don’t come cheap. These are bucket list holidays at the apex of cruising, so unless money is no object, it pays to make the most of their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.</p> <p dir="ltr">Full participation in an expedition cruise involves taking all the off-ship excursions offered, although how actively you participate is up to you. With relatively low passenger numbers, most onshore excursions divide into manageable groups ranging in capability from fitness fanatics to snail’s pacers. Each group is shuttled between ship and shore – or around the coast – on inflatable zodiacs, and accompanied by experienced expedition team members to ensure their members remain safe and informed. </p> <p dir="ltr">These off-ship activities will be trip highlights, and you make the most of them by being prepared. As our American ladies learned, that includes being suitably dressed. </p> <p dir="ltr">Appropriate attire differs by destination, but the general rule is comfortable and activity-capable. Your gear doesn’t need to be expensive, but it does need to do the job - especially in cold climates like Antarctica or the Arctic, where not dressing appropriately can put you and others at risk. Check the packing list on your cruise website or brochure, and if there isn’t one, ask. Likewise find out whether large but essential items such as polar jackets and gumboots are supplied, to free up valuable suitcase space.</p> <p dir="ltr">Throw in a few dressier outfits for dinner, although bow ties and sequins went down with the Titanic. Nowadays, the expedition cruise dining dress code tends toward smart casual, and the after-dinner entertainment is equally low key. Don’t get me wrong, there will be plenty of evening fun for those wanting it; however, after a day of wild and wonder-filled activity, followed by drinks and dinner, most passengers prefer rocking to sleep with the waves to rocking around the clock. </p> <p dir="ltr">Unless you are a New York socialite for whom dancing the night away in designer get-up may be the reason for booking a cruise. However, our ladies were different people now and about to teach me an important lesson. </p> <p dir="ltr">Until I met them, I held to expedition cruises being the preserve of nature lovers, photography nuts, eco-travellers, science boffins and adventure freaks; you were made for them or you weren’t. But, as the cruise neared its end and the New Yorkers and I dined together in wild sub-Antarctic weather, a particularly impressive southern ocean swell upended both their wine glasses into my lap. As happens occasionally on a polar ocean cruise, the captain directed us to our cabins to ride out the storm, and as we lurched from the dining room one of my dinner companions drawled to the other, “Hey, I’d much rather go upstairs and watch those albatrosses skim these waves!” </p> <p dir="ltr">The expedition cruise had done its job. Wherever these ladies sat on the nature appreciation continuum on boarding the ship, they were much further along it now. I was impressed by their efforts to make the most of a situation they obviously hadn’t expected and, who knows, they might even deliberately book an expedition cruise for their next vacation. </p> <p dir="ltr">At least they now have the gear.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: John Cardiner, Doug Gould [supplied, used with permission]</em></p>

International Travel

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Woman sues and divorces husband after discovering secret lottery win

<p>A man who kept his multi-million dollar lottery winnings secret from his wife has been ordered by the courts to compensate her. </p> <p>The Chinese man, whose surname was given as Zhou, won a staggering 10 million yuan ($2.1 million AUD) in 2021 and concealed his hefty new fortune from his wife. </p> <p>His wife never knew about the cash pile, as Zhou never bought her any lavish gifts or did anything monumental to celebrate the win. </p> <p>Instead, Zhou transferred two million yuan to his sister, and a further 700,000 yuan to his ex-wife so that she could buy an apartment for herself.</p> <p>Zhou's wife, whose name is unknown, eventually found out about the winnings, and fied for divorce as soon as she discovered the secret fortune. </p> <p>She also decided to sue him, as she asked the court to grant her two-thirds of the money remaining after tax.</p> <p>The woman should have been entitled to half of the money on account of being married to Zhou, and asked the court for more due to him going to great lengths to conceal the jackpot from her.</p> <p>A court in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, agreed with her and told Zhou he had to reimburse his now ex-wife for 2.7 million yuan ($560,000 AUD).</p> <p>Unusually, this kind of secrecy with lottery winnings is not uncommon in China. </p> <p>In 2022, a man kept his eye watering 219 million yuan (AUD$47,068,869) <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/man-hides-hefty-lottery-win-from-wife-and-child" target="_blank" rel="noopener">lottery win a secret</a> from his wife and child so they don’t become lazy. </p> <p dir="ltr">Known only as Mr Li to conceal his identity, the man dressed up in a yellow cartoon costume when he accepted the huge win at the lottery office in Nanning, in the southern region of Guangxi. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I did not tell my wife and child for fear that they would be too complacent and would not work or work hard in the future,” he told Nanning Evening News. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Woman shares why she planned to sue after winning multi-million dollar jackpot

<p dir="ltr">A UK woman who won over a million dollars through the lottery has described it as a “twisted fairytale” rather than a dream come true.</p> <p dir="ltr">Jane Park, who won the £1 million Euromillions lottery in 2013, said winning big isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, revealing that she has been blackmailed and threatened with violence ever since, per <em><a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/19570621/jane-park-lottery-pleas-money-strangers/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Sun</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The lottery should come with a health warning similar to smoking or drinking,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I understand they can’t make winning sound awful but they have a responsibility to not mislead the public.”</p> <p dir="ltr">After threatening to sue Camelot, the company that sold her the fateful ticket when she was just 17, prompted changes preventing those under 18 from having a gamble, she said the change doesn’t go far enough.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Park also wants ads for the game to be aired later at night - rather than during time slots that kids will be watching - and thinks that Lotto chiefs shouldn’t wait until someone wins to warn players of what’s in store.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The adverts should be aired later in the evening and advertising should be out of the way from children,” she said,</p> <p dir="ltr">“It sounds silly but children dream of either being famous or winning the lottery, and if it wasn’t so glamorised maybe there would be more ambition rather than gambling.</p> <p dir="ltr">“People always refer to the lottery as ‘playing the lottery’, but it’s not ‘playing’, it’s just plain gambling, apart from picking some number there is no game element to it.</p> <p dir="ltr">“How it wasn’t held to the same legislation as gambling from the beginning baffles me.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Park revealed that she is bombarded with pleas for help in the form of cash from strangers and that she’s even proposed to on a weekly basis.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It may be parents with terminally-ill children or needing life-changing surgery. Uni students want me to pay for their education,” she explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I also get a lot of marriage proposals, I’d say I get at least one a week. It’s not from anyone interested in me, it’s from people interested in the money.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The Edinburgh native has previously spoken about her fight to increase the age limit, which she had planned to take to court until her cause became the subject of media attention.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I was prepared to go to court to get my argument known, but the media attention it received got my point heard by the right people and I didn’t need to go that far in the end,” she explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I know that is directly because of the attention I brought to the subject.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Part one of my mission was to have the age range increased, part two is to try and make advertising the lottery more truthful.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She added that it’s “wrong” that the lotto is glamorised as “dream come true money”, when in reality she described it more as a “twisted fairytale” where strangers ask about her bank balance daily.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m proud that I have invested my money wisely and nine years later I’m still living a good life,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It just feels like people are waiting for the day I become broke and homeless, but I won’t let that happen.”</p> <p dir="ltr">A spokesperson for the Department of Media Culture and Sport said the law was changed so that only those over the age of 18 could take part in the National Lottery, up from the previous minimum age of 16.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The National Lottery is regulated by the Gambling Commission and we will not hesitate to act further if we consider it necessary,” they said.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-ecf45aca-7fff-7df7-9cbc-ec78fdfc4615"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: @janeparkx (Instagram)</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Fan accused of being drunk by Nick Kyrgios wants to sue him

<p dir="ltr">A tennis fan who was accused by Nick Kyrgios of being drunk during a Wimbledon match wants to sue him for defamation.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kyrgios was playing against Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon back in July when the Aussie star complained to the umpire about Anna Palus who was “costing him the game”. </p> <p dir="ltr">He said Palus was "drunk out of her mind" and "looks like she's had 700 drinks" which she took offence to after being removed from the crowd.</p> <p dir="ltr">Palus has since hired legal representation and is looking to sue Kyrgios for defamation following his comments. </p> <p dir="ltr">“On Sunday July 10 2022 I attended the final of the Wimbledon tennis championships with my mother. It was an event we had been looking forward to for some time,” Palus’ statement read.</p> <p dir="ltr">“During the course of the final, Nick Kyrgios made a reckless and entirely baseless allegation against me.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Not only did this cause considerable harm on the day, resulting in my temporary removal from the arena, but Mr Kyrgios’s false allegation was broadcast to, and read by, millions around the world causing me and my family very substantial damage and distress.” </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">"She's drunk out of her mind and talking to me in the middle of a game. She's the one who looks like she's had 700 drinks."</p> <p>Classic Nick Kyrgios<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> <a href="https://t.co/mhDw7M2Zbd">pic.twitter.com/mhDw7M2Zbd</a></p> <p>— Chris Hammer (@ChrisHammer180) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChrisHammer180/status/1546145885528248320?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 10, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">She explained that she was not a lawyer and was debating on whether or not she should take legal action before deciding that she felt like she had no choice.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I am not litigious, but after much consideration, I have concluded that I have no alternative but to instruct my solicitors Brett Wilson LLP to bring defamation proceedings against Mr Kyrgios in order to clear my name,” she continued.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The need to obtain vindication, and to prevent repetition of the allegations are the only reasons for taking legal action.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Any damages recovered will be donated to charity. Given the extant claim, I am unable to comment further on the events of the day in question.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I hope that Mr Kyrgios will reflect on the harm he has caused me and my family and offer a prompt resolution to this matter.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“However, if he is unwilling to do this, I am committed to obtaining vindication in the High Court.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Legal

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Man sues company for celebrating his birthday

<p dir="ltr">A man has been awarded $US450,000 ($A611,000) after his colleagues threw a birthday party, despite him asking not to due to his anxiety disorder.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kevin Berling was working as a lab technician at Gravity Diagnostics in Kentucky when his fellow employees threw a celebration for his birthday on August 7, 2019.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 29-year-old suffered a panic attack following the celebrations and was eventually fired from his job. </p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Berling then filed a compensation lawsuit, seeking damages and compensation for lost income.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Managers started giving him a hard time for his response to the birthday celebrations,” his lawyer Tony Bucher told local TV news outlet WKRC.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They actually accused him of stealing his co-workers’ joy.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Berling specifically told his boss in 2018 that he did not want any celebrations for his birthday at work due to his anxiety. </p> <p dir="ltr">His employer claims to have “forgot” about the request which resulted in a panic attack on that fateful day in 2019.</p> <p dir="ltr">It took Mr Berling almost an hour to recover from the awful ordeal in his car, which was then questioned the following day.</p> <p dir="ltr">Following the interrogation, Mr Berling suffered another panic attack. </p> <p dir="ltr">A week later, he was fired from his job with his manager being “worried about him being angry and possibly becoming violent”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Berling was awarded a $US450,000 ($A611,000) judgment against the company by a unanimous jury.</p> <p dir="ltr">The settlement included $US120,000 ($A163,000) in lost wages and benefits, $US30,000 ($A40,000) in future wages, and $US300,000 ($A408,000) for “past, present and future mental pain and suffering, mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, mortification, and loss of self-esteem”.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Boss threatens to sue employees over wage talk

<p dir="ltr">An employee has called out her manager after he threatened to fire staff for talking about their wages. </p> <p dir="ltr">The business owner of Planet Fitness gym in Kentucky, US, hung a poster on the wall informing staff not to talk about their wages because it is illegal. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, under the National Labor Relations Act, employees are entitled to speak about their wages freely. </p> <p dir="ltr">“ATTENTION ALL SUBORDINATES,” the letter, which was shared to Reddit began.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Effective immediately, conversing about wages (both on duty and off duty) is strictly forbidden,</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is considered proprietary information and as such, it is protected legally.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If you are overheard speaking (OR LISTENING TO!!) a conversation in which wages are discussed, you will receive disciplinary action up to and including termination.”</p> <p dir="ltr">One of the gym’s employees, Shelly, did not accept her boss's premise and decided to get back at him.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another photo shared to the post shows multiple hammers and sickles drawn on it - representative of the communist party.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Seeing as you’re a manager in the great illustrious word (sic) of Planet Fitness gym franchises, it may behoove (sic) you to become familiar with the laws pertaining to it,” Shelly wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Sprinkling legalese and word-salad across an 8.5x11 paper you printed does not make a legal doc.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Needless to say, you can’t legally tell us not to discuss wages in the good ol’ U.S. of A. We will continue to do so.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She ended the note with “Love, $10.50 an hour Shelly” which then saw her colleagues write their own wages. </p> <p dir="ltr">Viewers commended Shelly for the move which showed a united front against the boss who was very much in the wrong.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I LOVE $10.50 an hour Shelly!" someone wrote. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Long Live Shelly. I hope she is $25.00 an hour Shelly very very soon,” another commented.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of SHELLY SHELLY!" another joked.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Reddit</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Novak set to sue Australia for big bucks

<p dir="ltr">Following Novak Djokovic’s<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/djokovic-escorted-out-of-australia" target="_blank">deportation from Australia</a>, it seemed that his fight to stay in the country had come to an end.</p> <p dir="ltr">But the fight may be renewed as the tennis star<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/sport/tennis/novak-djokovic-reportedly-looking-to-sue-australian-government-over-visa-and-ill-treatment-c-5378332" target="_blank">contemplates</a><span> </span>suing the Australian government for $6 million over his failed attempt to reinstate his visa, according to a UK report.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 34-year-old was deported to Serbia after he entered the country while unvaccinated, with hopes he would be able to play in the Australian Open’s opening round on Monday.</p> <p dir="ltr">Djokovic now faces a potential three-year-ban if he does re-enter the country, and has been ordered to pay the federal government’s legal costs.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17377639/novak-djokovic-sue-australian-government-talks/" target="_blank"><em>UK Sun</em></a><span> </span>has reported that Djokovic may be considering legal action against the government for “ill-treatment”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The publication said the $6 million figure he may be suing for would include the Australian Open prize money he expected to earn if he had won.</p> <p dir="ltr">The potential development in the Djokovic saga comes as the reasons why a three-judge panel of the Federal Court unanimously ruled against reinstating the Serb’s visa are due to be published by Chief Justice James Allsop at 4.15 pm on Thursday afternoon.</p> <p dir="ltr">Following the Federal Court’s decision on Sunday night, Djokovic said in a statement that he was extremely disappointed but respected the ruling.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said Djokovic’s presence in Australia was a public health risk, as it could excite anti-vaccination sentiment.</p> <p dir="ltr">Chief Justice Allsop also noted the international interest in Djokovic’s case, including in his home country of Serbia, before he delivered the ruling on Sunday evening.</p> <p dir="ltr">He explained that the decision focused on whether the government’s decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa initially was irrational or unlawful in any way, and that it was not an appeal against the government’s decision.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It is not part of the function of the court to decide upon the merits or wisdom of the decision,” Chief Justice Allsop said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Legal

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Ginger Spice rocked by family tragedy

<p>Spice Girl Geri Horner (nee Halliwell) has been left devastated by an untimely family tragedy. </p> <p>Geri's older brother Max Halliwell has died in intensive care after collapsing at home, according to reports by The Sun. </p> <p>Geri was in the Middle East with her Formula One champion husband Christian, as he prepared for the Grand Prix in Qatar, when concerns were raised over Max's welfare. </p> <p>Close friends said that Max and Geri have always been "incredibly close".</p> <p>A source close to the singer explained, “This is the most awful, devastating, heartbreaking news and Geri is utterly broken by it."</p> <p>“It has been a terribly traumatic time since the moment she heard Max had been taken to hospital, and the worst outcome which everybody close to the family hoped might not be."</p> <p>“They are all rallying together but she barely knows what to say or think just now – she loved him dearly.”</p> <p>Police reported that Max has been transferred to hospital after being found at his home.</p> <p>In a statement a Hertfordshire Constabulary spokeswoman said, “Police were called at 9.40am on Wednesday 17 November to report the concern for welfare of a man at a residential property in Berkhamsted."</p> <p>“Officers, along with the East of England Ambulance Service, attended the scene."</p> <p>“The man was located and taken to hospital for treatment, where he sadly later died."</p> <p>A spokesman for Geri has asked that everyone "respect the family's privacy at this difficult time", as the family mourns. </p> <p>Max and Geri famously jetted off to Paris together when the singer quit the Spice Girls at the height of their fame in the 1990s, in order to escape the limelight. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Family & Pets

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INXS guitarist Tim Farriss sues over severed finger incident

<p><span>Lead <em>INXS</em> guitarist Tim Farriss has explained to a Sydney court why he is suing a boat owner after his major accident.</span><br /><br /><span>Farriss says he was forced into retirement after a boating accident severed one of his fingers.</span><br /><br /><span>Farriss hired Omega Clipper, 34 from John Axford to celebrate an anniversary with his wife, Beth, during the Australia Day long weekend in 2015.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843566/inxs-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c7f396031de2458e9ea750e07ca36dac" /><br /><br /><span>The musician took issue with kinks in a “rusty and dirty” anchor chain at Akuna Bay, in Sydney's northern beaches.</span><br /><br /><span>Court documents have claimed it became a major issue when the foot-controlled deck stopped working.</span><br /><br /><span>He was then given instructions via text message, the winch became working again.</span><br /><br /><span>Horrifically, his left hand was caught in the machinery and he lost a finger.</span><br /><br /><span>Farriss is suing Mr Axford in the NSW Supreme Court for negligence and breach of Australian Consumer Law.</span><br /><br /><span>"How would you now describe your occupation?" his barrister, Adrian Williams, asked him</span><br /><br /><span>"Forced retirement," Farriss replied.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843565/inxs-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ffce8c1f3f334a718315f1a2ab2f1f8b" /><br /><br /><span>Mr Williams told the court that Farriss's reattached finger was "useless" and the musician was depressed.</span><br /><br /><span>"It is in a state now where he cannot play the guitar and he cannot compose in the manner he was accustomed to," Mr Williams said.</span><br /><br /><span>Farriss has claimed he has extensive injuries.</span><br /><br /><span>"My hand was covered in rust, blood and mud, but I could see one of my fingers had been severed and the others were disfigured, badly lacerated and bleeding," he recalled in the documents.</span><br /><br /><span>The 64-year-old said he finds it difficult to look at his injuries without wanting to faint.</span><br /><br /><span>He argues that his instructions should have been clearer and that the equipment should have been better maintained.</span><br /><br /><span>The court’s major question is whether <em>INXS</em> is going to embark on a comeback tour after drummer Jon Farriss announced on stage, during a 2012 Perth show, that it would likely be their last.</span><br /><br /><span>Tim Farriss told the court he was "shocked" by the comment at the time, but said it ended up producing "great marketing opportunities".</span><br /><br /><span>Farriss has been accused of "downplaying" his "extensive" experience with boats, a claim the guitarist denied.</span><br /><br /><span>John Turnbull, who is for the defendant, said there would be a "significant factual dispute" about Farriss's position when the accident happened.</span><br /><br /><span>"At some point, Mr Farriss must have loosened the winch clutch and stepped on the up button or perhaps the down button, but of course only he knows what happened," he said.</span><br /><br /><span>"Our case is this is a misadventure, sadly, by Mr Farriss who has undoubtedly been injured as a result of, somehow or another, the chain and his fingers ... coming into contact with each other."</span><br /><br /><span>Mr Turnbull argued there was "no doubt" a risk of harm from the machinery, but not for someone who would have been "acting reasonably".</span><br /><br /><span>"A reasonable person, though, had alternative options available," he said.</span><br /><br /><span>"A reasonable person would not have been injured if they had exercised reasonable care."</span><br /><br /><span>Farriss told the court he has nightmares about both his hands and his feet being dragged into the winch.</span><br /><br /><span>Mr Turnbull suggested to the musician that he had accidentally stepped on the “up” button on the deck, which activated the winch.</span><br /><br /><span>The defence went on to say the version of events was recorded by an ambulance officer at the scene.</span><br /><br /><span>"That's what you told the ambulance operator," he said.</span><br /><br /><span>"No, I didn't tell him that," Farriss replied.</span><br /><br /><span>"That might be something he assumed."</span><br /><br /><span>The hearing is expected to run the rest of the week.</span></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Music

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Now Kate’s friend threatens to sue Christian Porter

<p>In walking away from his defamation action against the ABC, cabinet minister Christian Porter has opened a fresh round in the battle over the allegation of historical rape against him by a now-deceased woman, known just as Kate.</p> <p>Jo Dyer, a friend of Kate – whose claim Porter denies – on Tuesday threatened to sue him, accusing him of impugning “my honesty and integrity”.</p> <p>There is also now a battle over the settlement concluded between Porter and the ABC.</p> <p>The federal court has yet to ratify the settlement, which involves expunging from the court record part of the ABC’s defence in the defamation case. But news organisations are seeking to have the material made public.</p> <p>Justice Jayne Jagot said on Tuesday the issue might not be a matter for the parties. “There has to be a reason for the removal of a document from a court file,” she said. “It’s not done just because a party wants to do it.”</p> <p>If a document is removed from the court file, there cannot be applications to see it.</p> <p>ABC journalist Louise Milligan, who Porter also sued in his case against an ABC article reporting the accusation without naming him, tweeted on Monday “We are still absolutely committed to the 27 redacted pages being in the public domain”.</p> <p>Dyer brought the successful legal action that resulted in Porter’s high profile barrister Sue Chrysanthou being prevented from appearing in the defamation case because of a conflict of interest.</p> <p>Dyer said in her statement her lawyers had sent a second “concerns notice” to Porter over his “continuing defamatory comments”. “He should be on notice that if I launch legal proceedings, I tend to see them through to their conclusion,” she said.</p> <p>She alleged two defamations by Porter. She said that on May 12, he implied her legal proceedings were “part of an improper last minute legal strategy to disrupt his now discontinued action”.</p> <p>“He did this despite knowing the real reason for the court action, and the lengths to which I had gone over the preceding two months to avoid court,” she said.</p> <p>“Yesterday Mr Porter alleged that, after ‘coaching’ from Ms Milligan, I had destroyed important communications that may have had a bearing on his now discontinued action against Ms Milligan and the ABC.</p> <p>"This is absurd. As I stated in court under oath, a number of people, of whom Ms Milligan was but one, encouraged me to treat all communications about our dear friend Kate, and the allegations she made against Mr Porter, with the care and respect she and they warranted.</p> <p>"I endeavoured to do so by both filing and deleting correspondence between me and other individuals as appropriate.</p> <p>"There was nothing improper, illegal or sinister in my decisions to save or delete certain messages, decisions that were taken well before Mr Porter launched his now discontinued action against Ms Milligan and the ABC.”</p> <p>Dyer said the allegations Kate made against Porter “remain completely untested. Until they have been investigated, it is untenable for Mr Porter to remain in cabinet.”</p> <p>Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said an independent inquiry was needed into whether Porter was fit to continue as a cabinet minister. Dreyfus also said the ABC material should be publicly available.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/161911/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michelle-grattan-20316">Michelle Grattan</a>, Professorial Fellow, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/now-kates-friend-threatens-to-sue-christian-porter-161911">original article</a>.</p>

Relationships

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Donald Trump sues as Biden takes the lead

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are confident of their victory in the US Presidential Election, with vote counting still going on in crucial states.</p> <p>As Biden is predicted to win in key states such as Michigan and Wisconsin, Trump has challenged vote counts in key states.</p> <p>He made unfounded assertions of victory as well as allegations of voter fraud and accused Democrats of trying to "steal" the election.</p> <p>The Trump campaign has also launched a number of lawsuits demanding a halt to the counts, but in states such as Arizona and Nevada, his supporters are demanding that counting continues as Trump is behind in these states.</p> <p>There was a lawsuit in Michigan to stop counting there as the campaign said it had been denied "meaningful access" to observe the opening of the ballots and tally. This was dismissed by a state court judge on Thursday.</p> <p>Police were also called to Michigan to guard the door to a vote-counting policy as Trump supporters demanded access to monitor the process despite there being 200 people already observing the vote in the building.</p> <p>Trump also filed another lawsuit in Pennsylvania for closer scrutiny of the ballot counting process, which was swiftly rejected by the Supreme Court on Thursday.</p> <p>There was also legal action against Georgie to halt the vote count, with Trump saying that a Republican poll observer in the southern state had witnessed 53 late absentee ballots being illegally added to a pile of votes. This was dismissed by a state court on Thursday.</p> <p>If these lawsuits weren't enough, Trump launched another legal bid against Nevada with the Trump campaign alleging that around 10,000 votes were cast by people who no longer lived in the state.</p> <p>Last but not least, Trump's campaign said that in Wisconsin it would formally request a recount as there were "irregularities in several Wisconsin counties".</p> <p>These lawsuits could be due to Biden being ahead by more than 20,000 votes with election experts saying that recounts typically change tallies by only a few hundred.</p> <p>Bob Bauer, a Biden campaign lawyer said that the lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign "don't have merit".</p> <p>"It is to create an opportunity for them to message falsely about what's taking place in the electoral process," Mr Bauer said.</p> </div> </div> </div>

News

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Alan Jones sues SBS for defamation over "tribute" mocking his career

<p>Alan Jones is suing public broadcaster SBS for defamation over a television segment which he claims “greatly injured” his reputation by wrongly painting him as a paedophile, a racist, a misogynist and a liar.</p> <p>The veteran radio presenter and Sky News host is taking legal action in response to a segment on The Feed on May 12.</p> <p>It was aired shortly after Jones announced he would retire from radio due to health reasons.</p> <p>The Feed aired the episode which featured a “tribute” mocking his career.</p> <p>In it presenter Alex Lee said Jones “made a career out of bullying people”, “gleefully used racial slurs” and “spread lies and fake news”.</p> <p>“Alan Jones spoke to the fears of every xenophobe and misogynist in the country,” Lee said.</p> <p>“He secretly took money from companies to spruik their products on air, was arrested once, and sued for defamation more times than I can count. Oh, and he was on the radio for a bit.”</p> <p>Lee also claimed Jones had “undermined” the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and unfairly criticised female politicians. She also alleged he had written a love letter to a school student.</p> <p>The episode was later available on SBS On Demand and various other social media pages. It has now been removed.</p> <p>In documents filed in the Federal Court last week, Jones’ lawyers Sue Chrysanthou SC and Kieran Smark SC believe the episode contained defamatory remarks about their client, including that he “achieved his success as a broadcaster by habitually seeking to intimidate vulnerable people”.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="http://news.com.au/" target="_blank">News.com.au</a><span> </span>reported that the lawyers claim the broadcast wrongly suggested Jones was a “paedophile”.</p> <p>They also say the report wrongly claimed Jones “sought to incite racial violence” in the week leading up to the Cronulla riots, “was a racist” for criticising Muslims and Aboriginal people, “was a misogynist” for attacking a female politician, and “was a liar” in that he spread misinformation about climate change.</p> <p>They believe SBS made “over-sensationalised” allegations against the radio presenter and “greatly injured” his reputation.</p> <p>“The applicant has been greatly injured in his business, personal and professional reputation and has been and will be brought into public disrepute, odium, ridicule and contempt,” the barristers wrote in the document.</p> <p>“In circumstances where the nature of the material, being the making of seriously defamatory statements alleging criminality … were such that the allegations should have been put to the applicant so that he could respond to and deny the allegations.”</p> <p>Jones is seeking damages including aggravated damages, an order permanently restraining SBS and Ms Lee from repeating the claims, an order that the material be taken down, and costs.</p> <p>SBS has not yet filed any documents in the case and it has yet to comment publicly on the case.</p>

News

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Erin Molan sues Daily Mail for painting her as a“racist”

<p>Nine sports presenter Erin Molan is suing the <em>Daily Mail</em> Australia after they published a story earlier this year that she says paints her as a blatant “racist” after she said “hooka looka mooka hooka fooka” on radio.</p> <p>The TV star also alleges the outlet is responsible for contributing to online bullying, including an Instagram post in which former NRL star John Hopoate called her a “racist b***h”.</p> <p>Ms Molan copped criticism in June for uttering the strange phrase on 2GB’s NRL program Continuous Call after a reference to pronouncing player names.</p> <p>Ms Molan can be heard saying “Dad!” twice and then “hooka looka mooka hooka fooka” in an accent before her co-host replies “What? I’m not sure what you said then”.</p> <p>Ms Molan apologised for the “clumsy” comments but vehemently denies that she was mocking Polynesian names and said she was referencing a story previously told on the show.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/xK1wd6GGY2">pic.twitter.com/xK1wd6GGY2</a></p> — Erin Molan (@Erin_Molan) <a href="https://twitter.com/Erin_Molan/status/1270580896874156034?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 10, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>In court documents filed September 12 and seen by NCA NewsWire, Ms Molan alleges that the media outlet targeted her in a defamatory campaign that incorrectly quoted her as saying that the comment was an “in-joke”.</p> <p><em>Daily Mail</em> also reportedly stated she refused to apologise.</p> <p>The Wide World of Sports presenter is suing over a story published on June 5 entitled “Erin Molan refuses to apologise for her ‘hooka looka mooka’ jibe on live radio — as Pacific Islander women slam her for being ‘complicit in racism’ by mocking their names”.</p> <p>She is also suing over two tweets that shared the story.</p> <p>Ms Molan says that the story suggests she mocked Pacific Islander names and refused to apologise.</p> <p>She says this is suggested by her inability to pronounce Pacific Islander names which painted her as racist and incompetent and unfit to be an NRL commentator.</p> <p>Ms Molan has gone on to claim that the story spawned further criticism including a Change.org petition calling for her to be fired.</p> <p>A tweet from Victorian MP Dustin Halse and an Instagram post was made where Mr Hopoate wrote: “It was an inside joke between colleagues so it’s OK. Just like when I accidentally trip this RACIST BITCH over and she falls and scrapes her RACIST mouth on the ground.”</p> <p>These were all a “natural and probable consequence” of the <em>Daily Mail</em> story and increase her claim to damages, Ms Molan claims.</p> <p>The lawsuit states that the story and two tweets “gravely injured” her reputation and caused her hurt and embarrassment.</p> <p><em>Daily Mail Australia</em> told NCA NewsWire it is “strenuously defending the proceedings” and will file a defence shortly in accordance with court rules.</p>

Legal

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Dream holiday turns into horror: Family sues after baby loses legs and fingers

<p>A British family is suing the Royal Caribbean cruise line after their nine-month-old daughter left their trip a triple amputee following a major misdiagnosis onboard.</p> <p>Phoebe Moon and her parents boarded the Symphony of the Seas in February, and found that their baby girl had become ill after they had settled in.</p> <p>“We had never taken her away before and we thought we would have the time of our lives in America, but sadly, it didn’t turn out that way,” said Phoebe’s mother Aimee.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838022/phoebe-baby-amputee-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f23261177ed24fb184dfd8d9c75adf58" /></p> <p>“We actually visited the infirmary five times that day and she just got worse and worse throughout the day,” she said.</p> <p>“Every time we went down (the infirmary), we were sent back to our cabin.”</p> <p>When they refused to leave, the parents say Phoebe was handed antibiotics.</p> <p>Eventually they got off the ship mid-cruise in St Martin to seek help.</p> <p>“When we got to St Martin’s hospital, they said they’ve got about 15 minutes to save her life,” explained Phoebe’s father, Luke.</p> <p>“They said to prepare for the worst because she’s very sick.”</p> <p>Phoebe’s feet, legs, and hands were handed swollen and purple - caused by a severe form of meningitis.</p> <p>“We were just in utter shock to think you left to go on holidays with your daughter and the prospect that you’re not going to be going home with her is unimaginable,” Aimee said.</p> <p>The family say that doctors in Fort Lauderdale had to amputate to save her life.</p> <p>Phoebe lost her feet and the fingers of her left hand.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838023/phoebe-baby-amputee-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/94a00cd7e23d46218b7bc82551f82bd8" /></p> <p>The family has since filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean in Miami, with the family alleging that the cruise line’s doctors misdiagnosed Phoebe with “a stomach bug” despite her showing “classic signs of a life-threatening meningococcal meningitis infection”.</p> <p>Some of those symptoms included lethargy and high fever.</p> <p>Thomas Scolaro is the attorney for the family and told NBC 6: “Listening to their story just breaks my heart every time.</p> <p>“This would otherwise be the world’s most horrific case of medical negligence and damage to the world’s sweetest little child, but it gets substantially worse.”</p> <p>Her parents say every day is a struggle following their daughter’s life-changing surgery.</p> <p>“Even now all she wants to do is get down and walk, and it’s so difficult that she is unable to do that,” Aimee said.</p> <p>“And these challenges are just going to get harder as she gets older.”</p> <p>The family has given a message for other families planning to sail in the future.</p> <p>“We were always under the impression that the medical facilities and staff on a ship were world class and world leading,” Luke said.</p> <p>“We now think that isn’t the case. You are on your own at sea.”</p>

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