Here’s a story you won’t read much about in
the News Ltd papers. Malcolm Noad, head of the Canterbury Bulldogs
rugby league team and a former senior executive at News until early
last year, is suing News Ltd columnist, Rebecca Wilson, for defamation.

Here’s the SMH story under the headline “Rebecca the Wrecker,” a term coined by the Herald‘s senior rugby league writer and columnist, Roy Masters.

Rebecca the wrecker faces the sin bin as Bulldogs boss sues for defamation
By Stephen Gibbs

Spitting,
gouging and squirrel-gripping have all been taken off the paddock in
rugby league. Now a club chief executive has hauled a sideline sniper
before the judiciary. Bulldogs boss Malcolm Noad has begun defamation
action against the sports commentator Rebecca Wilson in the NSW Supreme
Court, seeking aggravated damages for attacks upon his name.

Mr Noad alleges Wilson has repeatedly and maliciously
trashed his reputation with lies and scandalous assaults on his
credibility in a vicious personal campaign. The prospect of this action
being heard in open court will make powerful sports and media figures
in Sydney drool. Mr Noad was once Wilson’s boss at News Ltd, where he
was a director and held posts including managing director of the
publisher of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph, Nationwide News.

One
of the main reasons you’re unlikely to read the fine details of the
writ in the News Ltd papers is because of this extraordinary claim by
Mr Noad: “Among Mr Noad’s reasons for claiming aggravated damages in
his suit is [Wilson’s] act in exploiting her personal relationship with
a senior executive of [News Ltd] in order to revenge herself upon [Mr
Noad].”

We can’t join the dots for you on this one, except to
say it’s a not particularly veiled reference to a story that’s been
doing the rounds in the Sydney newspaper, TV, radio and sports
industries for a number of years which has also had plenty of currency
at News Ltd’s offices in Holt Street Surry Hills.

It will be interesting to read Wilson’s columns in tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph to see if she returns fire.

Peter Fray

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