News National Judge rebukes Kennett, Stokes over Seven West sex scandal comments
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Judge rebukes Kennett, Stokes over Seven West sex scandal comments

Seven West director Jeff Kennett and Chairman Kerry Stokes have been criticised for 'vilifying' Amber Harrison. Photo: AAP
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Seven West chairman Kerry Stokes and director Jeff Kennett have been criticised by a NSW Supreme Court judge for their public comments that vilified former employee Amber Harrison.

Ms Harrison had launched a high-profile social media campaign against Seven West Media, releasing documents and details about her affair with chief executive Tim Worner.

Supreme Court justice Robert McDougall extended a temporary gag order on Ms Harrison on Tuesday, preventing her from speaking out about her affair with Mr Worner and releasing any more of the company’s confidential documents.

Giving his reasons for the decision on Wednesday, Justice McDougall said Mr Stokes and Mr Kennett had “descended into the welter of accusation and counter-accusation” with Ms Harrison.

“I do not think that the social media battle that Mr Kennett waged was well-advised,” he added.

“Seven was using, and is working to continue using, the injunction to vilify Ms Harrison at a time when she (Ms Harrison) could not respond.”

Justice McDougall was referring to Mr Kennett’s Twitter feud with Ms Harrison on February 14, after Seven won an interim injunction to stop Ms Harrison from releasing confidential Seven documents.

Mr Kennett was also critical of Ms Harrison in an interview on the ABC’s AM program on February 14, ahead of Mr Worner delivering a 91 per cent fall in Seven West’s half year profit.

However, Justice McDougall was also critical of Ms Harrison’s behaviour in leaking confidential Seven documents.

“Ms Harrison made it clear that she is reckless or indifferent to the collateral damage of others,” he said.

Ms Harrison' has been gagged from speaking about her affair with Seven West CEO Tim Worner.
Ms Harrison’ has been gagged from speaking about her affair with Seven West CEO Tim Worner. Photo: Twitter

Justice McDougall said he was satisfied that Ms Harrison had breached at least some of her confidentiality obligations relating to her former employment at Seven.

“[There is] a mass of evidence showing Ms Harrison has threatened to destroy Mr Worner’s career and reputation,” he said.

Justice McDougall said that unless restrained, Ms Harrison was likely to continue releasing Seven documents that would breach her agreement with the company.

He added that Seven was not in breach of its side of the agreement, because Ms Harrison had refused to release mobile devices and electronic records.

The injunction hearing will continue in the NSW Supreme Court on March 3.

-ABC

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