It’s one day after the news broke that one of Australia’s richest men, James Packer, and his best friend, Nine CEO David Gyngell, were involved in a street brawl outside Mr Packer’s home in Bondi on Sunday afternoon.
Bruises are blossoming, both physically and emotionally, as the pair attempt to repair the damage done by their very public clash. What we are all wondering is what caused the conflict and whether either man will be charged for the fight.
Footage has also emerged on News Corp websites of the now-infamous brawl showing three men trying to restrain the pair.
Gyngell is heard yelling in the video: “I didn’t even know you were in f***ing Australia”, News Corp said on its website.
The billionaire businessman and the TV executive, who was best man at Packer’s wedding, have issued a joint statement insisting they remain friends after news of the fracas broke.
“We have been friends for 35 years and still are,” they said.
“In that time we have had our fair share of ups and downs.
“We respect each other and neither of us will be commenting further.”
A public relations nightmare
It appears as though Mr Gyngell will emerge relatively (professionally) unscathed from the brawl, with Nine issuing a statement saying his $10 million-a-year contract will not be terminated.
“David Gyngell has had and continues to have the full support of the board in his role as CEO of Nine Entertainment Company,” Nine Entertainment chairman David Haslingden said on Monday.
However, the battle does not bode well for Mr Packer’s interests at home and overseas. Mr Packer, who owns casino group Crown Resorts, is currently negotiating deals in Asia worth billions of dollars.
Crown’s Asian venture, Melco Crown, is currently working to win casino licences which could pave the way for casinos in Japan – an extremely lucrative market.
Mr Packer has also only recently return from Sri Lanka where his company is attempting to implement a $US400 million casino resort. The plan was already contentious due to the Sri Lankan government’s concerns that the resort would harm Buddhist values.
A public violent clash is unlikely to convince more conservative members of the Asian community that Mr Packer’s company is the right fit for their country.
An angry text?
Speculation has already started as to what sparked the battle, with The Daily Telegraph reporting that an “angry text” inspired the stoush.
According to the paper, Mr Packer sent the text message upon arrival into Sydney from Jerusalem after learning that a Nine News truck was camped outside his home.
Mr Packer demanded that the van be removed, a message which reportedly greatly angered My Gyngell.
“Packer basically told him to remove his f—ing truck from his street,” a source told the Telegraph.
The Nine boss reportedly responded to the text telling Mr Packer he would waiting outside his house to explain when he got home. The pair had a heated phone conversation moments before Mr Packer arrived in his chaffeur-driven car to find Mr Gyngell waiting for him.
The face-off with Mr Gyngell when Mr Packer arrived home also ruined his plans for the day; The Daily Telegraph is reporting that he was hoping to catch up with model friend and rumoured girlfriend Miranda Kerr, who is visiting Sydney with her son, Flynn, on a promotional tour.