Wilkinson getting the better of a bete noire


Buy Organic Traffic | Cheap Organic Traffic | Increase Organic Traffic | Organic Traffic

The sea breeze gently blew through the marquee at last week’s Byron Bay Writer’s Festival where television personalities Lisa Wilkinson and Tracey Spicer were in the midst of a wide-ranging discussion about life in the media, when Wilkinson dropped a bombshell: she had a mystery bete noire in the business, another woman who embarked on a ruthless campaign to take her down.

Wilkinson later told PS that she didn’t want her comments blown out of proportion, and declined to provide any further details on the woman she told the crowd had been after her job. She bluntly refused to name the perpetrator.

Private Sydney: Lisa Wilkinson had a saboteur?

Today Show co-host Lisa Wilkinson dropped a bombshell at the Byron Bay Writers Festival: she had a bête noire after her job. Andrew Hornery investigates.

Instead she issued a statement via Channel Nine’s publicity department after PS persisted with the extraordinary claims.

“Like many women who’ve spent time in professional workplaces, I’ve come up against the occasional roadblock,” Wilkinson said. “It comes with the territory.

“But each time, I’ve shone a light on what was going on, called out the perpetrators, and the problem immediately went away. It’s the advice I always give to the young women I mentor – be brave – because it works.”

Wilkinson’s revelations in Byron Bay emerged during a discussion on mentoring and rivalry between colleagues, from men bullying women to women competing against other women. Spicer said such female rivalry was often portrayed in a sexist manner in the media, with headlines about “catfights” and the like.

However it was Wilkinson, who had enjoyed years of “supportive” relationships with other women during her time in magazines, who divulged that five years ago one woman had actively undermined her.

She did not name the woman and made it clear she did not work in television, however she was of considerable professional stature and media presence to infiltrate the corridors of power at Channel Nine. She was attempting to “take down” one of the network’s biggest and best paid stars.

According to Wilkinson, the mystery woman was after her job, though her ambitions failed.

​Bullying is something the broadcaster, 57, has known since her days as a student at Campbelltown High.

Several years ago Wilkinson told her friend Mia Freedman’s  Mamamia website: “My dad always taught me that if somebody new arrives, you always go and look after them, and make sure they’re OK. I did with this girl, but suddenly, after about a month, she just turned on me. Her boyfriend decided he liked me, although I had no idea who he was. Bullies rarely have a very good reason for doing what they do. They pick on others to feel better about themselves.”

By year 10, several of her girlfriends had left school, so without a good support base, she was left further exposed to the bullying. The dynamics of the schoolyard changed. “There were a couple of occasions where I was the girl in the centre, with every other kid in the playground calling out, ‘Fight, fight, fight!'”

On one occasion, she went to a Sherbet concert and a girl punched her “fair and square with a right hook”.

“I didn’t know how to stand up for myself,” Wilkinson said.

Clearly she does now.

‘Teflon John’ keeps his celebrity clutch close

Life inside the private court of John Ibrahim has long fascinated columns like PS.

Indeed “Teflon John” is not one to shy away from phoning up gossip columnists, as he has with PS over the years, to express his view on stories or the characters that feature on these pages.

Most recently he requested a moratorium on coverage of his good friend Kyle Sandilands’ girlfriend Imogen Anthony who had featured prominently in this year’s coverage of Australian Fashion Week thanks to her expletive and phallus-riddled front-row wardrobe and diva antics.

Tales to tell: John Ibrahim's new book has lots of juicy yarns about his celebrity friends.

Tales to tell: John Ibrahim’s new book has lots of juicy yarns about his celebrity friends. Photo: Louie Douvis

Of course Ibrahim, who has been in the news all week thanks to the police raids and arrests of some of his nearest and dearest across Sydney and Dubai, has long associated himself with a collection of celebrities of sorts.

He partied with Paris Hilton when she came to town. And with the young actor Firass Dirani after he portrayed Ibrahim in the Underbelly series. He was a confidante of the late Charlotte Dawson and helped pay her bills when times were tough. He provided a shoulder for Lara Bingle to cry on when her love life turned sour and he provided a roof over the head of former Irish boy bander Brian McFadden when he broke up with Delta Goodrem.

Ibrahim writes in his new memoir about McFadden: “What starts as a couple of weeks turns into several months, and while I like his company and find him funny, I find it hard to deal with his chain-smoking – he smokes constantly and I hate smoking.” 

Former boy band member Brian McFadden bunked at John Ibrahim's house for a while.

Former boy band member Brian McFadden bunked at John Ibrahim’s house for a while. Photo: Angela Wylie

“He’s initially charming but every time I sit down he wants to talk about how he used to be in a boy band … I want him out. One Sunday morning I’m out having breakfast and I see the Sunday papers’ headlines. The police have leaked a story that there’s a contract out on my life. This is 2011, when the bikies and crims are melting down.

“When I get home, I walk in and there’s no Brian: the drawers in his room are all open and empty, there’s a cigarette still smoking in the ashtray, and sitting beside the ashtray is the newspaper, still on the page. I see a text from Brian saying his agent is concerned for his safety and has moved him to a hotel. Bullshit.”

As for sweet Imogen, Ibrahim offers his own account of the day Sandilands, his next door neighbour, first hooked up with his squeeze.

Sydney's favourite shock jock Kyle Sandilands and his long-term girlfriend Imogen Anthony.

Sydney’s favourite shock jock Kyle Sandilands and his long-term girlfriend Imogen Anthony. Photo: Imogen Anthony/Instagram

“I’m standing on the balcony … admiring the view and sipping my morning coffee… I can hear Kyle’s garage door rolling up. I’m watching him reverse his big-arse Bentley out, when all of a sudden Imogen in ugg boots and a singlet jumps on the bonnet like a cat and screams out, ‘Where do you think you are going, you fat c—?’ And then I see him drive back into his garage with her still on the bonnet.”

“After spitting out my coffee and nearly falling off the balcony from pissing myself laughing, I grab my phone and call him. When he answers, I can barely speak from laughing so hard. ‘Don’t tell me you just saw all that. You did, didn’t you?’ he says, and then whispers, ‘She weighs forty-five kilograms but I’m f—ing petrified of her.'”

He’s not alone.

The new-look DJs: too much Ruckus?

The contrast between the old David Jones and the new South African-owned one could not have been more clear than when guests filed passed the baby grand piano tinkling away on the ground floor of the flagship Elizabeth Street store en route to Wednesday night’s opulent fashion extravaganza.

Michael Hope has been playing the David Jones ivories for more than 30 years, and he was in prime position by the lifts on Wednesday night. However, up on level seven, it was thumping dance beats courtesy of celebrity US DJ Ruckus, the model nephew of rocker Lenny Kravitz and fiance of Australian supermodel Shanina Shaik, that set the tone for an evening of champagne, models, fashion and dancing (including a Magic Mike moment when the male models stripped to their swimwear) that left a few seasoned socialites in a state of bewilderment.

Cutest couple ... Shanina Shaik and DJ Ruckus walk the runway during the David Jones Spring Summer 2017 Collections Launch.

Cutest couple … Shanina Shaik and DJ Ruckus walk the runway during the David Jones Spring Summer 2017 Collections Launch. Photo: Mark Metcalfe

The evening also heralded the last fashion show to be held in the ballroom, which was brought back to life under David Jones’ previous management and for the past decade has relived the department store’s glory days when the room was the social epicentre of Sydney, hosting everyone from Queen Elizabeth II in 1954 to the first Christian Dior fashion show outside of Paris in 1948.

From January workers will start the immense job of overhauling the Elizabeth Street store, with the ballroom becoming a new giant luxury women’s footwear department with a new Neil Perry restaurant occupying the mezzanine.

A few floors down excitement is being met with anxiety among some of the more long-term staff at the store, some of whom fear they will not fit the edgy, new “look” the David Jones is aiming for.

Australia’s oldest HIV charity bake off prepares for last hurrah

Long before debates on marriage equality dragged on, Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, in 1984 truly was the beating heart of gay and lesbian Sydney, its bars and clubs filled with social refugees cast out from the mainstream looking for a safe haven just to be themselves .

Just six years after heavy-handed police officers were arresting the gay rights protesters who marched in what became the precursor to the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which our city so cherishes today, 1984 was also the year the late Neville Wran decriminalised homosexuality in NSW.

But a dark cloud had also cast a gloomy shadow over the once feted Golden Mile, especially when a handsome and popular young gay man named Bobby Goldsmith succumbed to a terrible new disease called AIDS. He was just 38.

EIGHT DAYS JUL 27 Aunty Mavis pic for the Bake Off Aunty Mavis.jpeg

Aunty Mavis at the bake off, which is always a day of high camp cooking, drag queens and disco. Photo: [email protected]

Mass hysteria and ignorance had turned sick young men like Goldsmith into pariahs.

“It was just so sudden … people were getting sick and dying very quickly around us. Bob went downhill fast. In three months he went blind, he couldn’t walk and people were afraid to come near us because they were frightened of the disease. Then he was gone,” recalls Ken Bryan, Goldsmith’s partner.

It was Bryan and his friends who banded together to try to do something practical for Goldsmith.

“He was bedridden and we wanted to get him a TV so he could at least hear something. We did a fundraiser at the Midnight Shift and hundreds of people turned up. It was overwhelming … that’s when we decided to form the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation and provide practical help for people, to help pay the rent and buy groceries. We paid for one young guy to go home to New Zealand to die with his family.”

Cake entry in the Bobby Goldsmith Bakeoff for PS Spotlight, pic supplied

This year will be the last for the Bobby Goldsmith Bake Off fundraiser.

As Goldsmith’s friend Allan Goodchild, a former navy man who became a bartender at the Oxford Hotel, the stigma of AIDS was frightening: “Undertakers would demand double bagging of bodies. Food trays would be left at the door of hospital wards. The front page of newspapers had headlines saying the disease was being spread by mosquitos… it was a very bad time.”

Before he became unwell, Goldsmith, a public servant who loved opera, was something of a local hero on Oxford Street.

A natural athlete, he represented Australia at the Gay Games in San Francisco in 1982 and came back with a staggering 17 of the 21 medals awarded to Australia. 

Bobby Goldsmith for PS SPotlight, pic supplied

Bobby Goldsmith represented Australia at the Gay Games in San Francisco in 1982 and came back with 17 of the 21 medals awarded to Australia.

Today, the foundation that bears his name is Australia’s oldest HIV charity. In the months after he died the Boys Own Bake Off fundraiser was started, and for more than 30 years it has been a day of high camp cooking, drag queens and disco, where contestants enter a variety of creations from muscled torsos fashioned out of marzipan to dumbbell cup cakes.

However, on Sunday, September 10, the last Bobby Goldsmith Bake Off will take place from 3pm upstairs at The Beresford Hotel in Surry Hills, bringing to an end one of the great social traditions of Sydney.

Times have changed and today the foundation is more focused on people living with HIV thanks to advances in drugs.

SHD Unwind. HOT TICKETS JUNE 8. Bake Off for Bobby Goldsmith Foundation. Previous year's entry. Pic supplied.

The annual bake off has run for more than 30 years and is one of the great social traditions of Sydney. Photo: [email protected]

Bryan added: “I don’t know what Bobby would make of Oxford Street today … we lament the loss of the old gay bars and the wonderful community that existed there … but I know he would be very proud of all the people that have been helped in his name.”

Long may it continue.

Packers set to party

The Packers are go. This time to Aspen, where matriarch Ros, Gretel and Francesca Packer will join James for what is promising to be a lavish 40th birthday for his ex-wife Erica, the mother of their three children.

Also due in Aspen are Sarah and Lachlan Murdoch, who jetted out of Sydney on Friday after an extended stay in their former home town.

L-R Sarah Murdoch, James Packer and his wife Erica Packer in the Crown Marquee at Victoria Derby Day. 
Photo by Jesse Marlow. Saturday 3rd November 2012

Aspen birthday bash: Sarah Murdoch, James Packer and his then wife Erica Packer in the Crown Marquee at Victoria Derby Day in 2012. Photo: Jesse Marlow

Meanwhile a footnote to last week’s PS item about The Daily Telegraph’s editor Chris Dore and the Packer family tinnie the Arctic P. While Dore is yet to return PS’s calls on the matter, he has let it be known, and in no uncertain terms, that he has “never” been aboard the Arctic P superyacht and he has “never” been to Bora Bora, despite endless chatter around his offices in Holt Street to the contrary.

He might want to tell some of his own colleagues that too. 

Racing royals head north 

PS can confirm that Crown Princess Mary will now be joining her husband, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, on Hamilton Island in just over a week for the annual Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.

Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark have been included in this year's Vanity Fair Best Dressed list.

Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark have been included in this year’s Vanity Fair Best Dressed list. Photo: Cliff Owen

As this column revealed recently, Prince Fred has chartered Wild Oats 66 for the races, and no doubt his sailing enthusiast wife will fill the role of First Mate suitably. No word on whether the four royal rugrats will make the trip, with school commitments taking precedence.

Revved up and roving

Ladies start your engines! On Tuesday night Range Rover threw an extravagant party to launch its Velar model, which for the car enthusiasts is all about “reductionism”.

Sydney property developer and very eligible bachelor Cameron MacDonald at Land Rover Velar launch. PIC SUPPLIED for use with Private Sydney.

Sydney property developer and very eligible bachelor Cameron MacDonald at the launch of the Range Rover’s new Velar. Photo: Supplied

Though the flash wheels had to compete with the flash-lookiing host, former male model turned property developer Cameron MacDonald, who opened his $20 million Mosman home up for the night. It’s the same joint where Justin Bieber stayed (it had to be aired-out somewhat afterwards), as well as pop diva Adele when they were both in Sydney recently.

PS understands MacDonald has made quite a name for himself with high-end residential developments, including some swanky apartments in London, and is happy to wait for the right buyer to cough up the big dough for the joints. And while he’s dated a string of beautiful models, he is said to be single. Though PS suspects not for long.

Buy Website Traffic | Cheap Website Traffic | Increase Website Traffic | Website Traffic

Source link