Billionaire Gina Rinehart’s battle with the Nine Network over the second episode of House of Hancock, that aired on Sunday night, may not be over.
AAP understands the mining magnate is considering her legal options, despite reaching a last-ditch confidential settlement with the network before the closing instalment of the drama based on her family’s story was televised.
Mrs Rinehart’s solicitor Mark Wilks said after the program that Nine had been aware of glaring errors in the second episode that were misleading and “twisted”.
The final episode of the two-part miniseries portrayed the death of Mrs Rinehart’s father, Lang Hancock, and the battle between Mrs Rinehart and his wife Rose Porteous to keep his iron ore bounty.
Neither Mrs Rinehart or Ms Porteous came off well in the show. Ms Porteous – well played by Peta Sergeant – looked like the gold digger she was known as and Mrs Rinehart – mimicked perfectly by Mandy McElhinney – was certainly the little girl looking to please her daddy no matter the consequences.
There has been some speculation that Mrs Rinehart was able to have some of the more unflattering scenes left on the cutting room floor, but it’s not clear what was changed.
Despite the network’s disclaimer the show was a “drama, not a documentary”, it remained devoid of factual accuracy, Mr Wilks told AAP.
In a litany of complaints, Mr Wilks said scenes showing Mrs Rinehart conversing with her deceased father were “entirely false”.
“(The scenes are) offensive and endeavours to question Mrs Rinehart’s sanity, soundness of mind or acumen,” he told AAP.
Mr Wilks dismissed what he said were suggestions Mrs Rinehart had conspired to prepare a deed that would circumvent her father’s final will.
The suggestion Mrs Rinehart confronted her father while he was in hospital was also offensive and inconsistent with the reality she loved her father and wouldn’t upset him in hospital, he said.
Mrs Rinehart’s solicitor also complained the show got dates wrong.
“Mrs Rinehart did not arrange security glass for HPPL’s offices until late 1997,” Mr Wilks said.
The complaints follow a confidential settlement between Mrs Rinehart and the network after the billionaire was granted an early viewing of the second episode by the Supreme Court.
The court took the unusual step of sitting on a Saturday to the resolve the dispute before the show aired.
One of the show’s producers Michael Cordell told The New Daily the production company, Cordell Jigsaw, had not been advised about an intention to sue and they could not detail what scenes were cut out of the show.
However, Mr Cordell said the miniseries told an “an iconic and important Australian story”.
“It was made with a genuine sense of empathy for all the characters we depicted, Mr Cordell said.
“It was inevitable there would be difficult and painful scenes, but we made this series with no sense of malice. No-one takes on the Hancock story lightly and we drew very heavily from the public record.
“Many comments from viewers last night indicate they now have a much more sympathetic understanding of all the characters, including Gina.”