Veteran shock-jock Howard Sattler is suing his former radio employer for more than $500,000, claiming he was unlawfully sacked for asking former Prime Minister Julia Gillard if her partner Tim Mathieson was gay.
Mr Sattler caused national outrage this year with an interview in which he posed the question to Ms Gillard.
Ms Gillard responded that the notion was absurd.
“You hear it! He must be gay. He’s a hairdresser,” Mr Sattler continued, sparking a vitriolic backlash and his termination from Fairfax Radio’s 6PR station in Perth the next day.
Mr Sattler, who is suffering from a form of Parkinson’s, has lodged a writ with WA’s Supreme Court claiming he was unlawfully dismissed and the manner of his sacking has made it impossible for him to find work.
Through his lawyer Bruce Havilah, Mr Sattler has claimed more than $500,000, calculated on six months remaining on his contract and a promise of another three-year deal to come.
The writ reveals Mr Sattler earned $190,000 in the first year of his contract and $195,000 in the second year, plus $100 for each live and recorded commercial read on air.
“I am confident that the circumstances will clearly show my claim is justified,” Mr Sattler said.
“I will continue my fight for justice with the same tenacity I have fought for others.”
The claim will contend that Ms Gillard’s office had accepted in writing that the interview would be candid and that it would touch on controversial topics such as same-sex marriage and religion.
“He asked her to respond specifically to a myth about her de facto partner where he voiced that myth,” Mr Havilagh said.
“He denies that the contract was breached … or if it was breached, it was capable of rectification by an an on-air apology.”
Mr Sattler said he was only able to launch the legal action through the generosity of others and also had to cut back on medical treatment because of his strained financial position.
But he only regretted asking the question because it led to his sacking.
“It never occurred to me at the time that this would lead to me being sacked,” Mr Sattler said.