As
apologies go it was baldly stated. Under the heading “Malcolm Noad”, placed at the bottom of her column in the Sunday
Telegraph
, columnist and sometimes TV and radio star Rebecca Wilson ate a big
dollop of humble pie yesterday.

Or rather a lawyer made her eat it. The
apology was either an attempt to mitigate the impact of the defamation action
launched by Noad, or a sign that it had been settled,
with damages being paid by News Ltd and the paper.

On
Saturday May 14 2005, I wrote a report that Malcolm Noad had posted a letter on the (Canterbury) Bulldogs
website about me. I also commented on that letter on 2MMM on May 7,
2005. I
suggested that Mr Noad’s
letter had incited Bulldogs fans to send me obscene messages and death threats.
I withdraw that suggestion unreservedly and sincerely apologise to Malcolm Noad and his
family for the hurt and distress my comments have caused
them.

Noad is a former senior News Ltd
executive and left early last year to run the Bulldogs in the wake of the
Coffs
Harbour affair. Relations between Wilson and Noad have been coloured by their
News Ltd experiences and her comments saw Noad sue for
defamation in June.

The
apology has come almost six months after the column, so it wasn’t volunteered
quickly as a way of lessening damage. It also
came a week after a ferocious attack on Wilson by Phil Gould, the coaching director at Easts in Sydney, Fairfax columnist and Nine Network commentator. He also
included News Ltd sports writer Phil Rothfield and
Ray Hadley:

I think Rothfield and Wilson place agendas and personal grievances
above readers’ needs for informative, accurate and unbiased
reporting.”…

As for Rebecca
Wilson?

Ha, ha,
ha. Sorry. I can’t even say
her name without laughing. She must be trying to emulate Rothfield because her gossip column bears a striking
resemblance to his style.

Her stories about me
have been inaccurate, exaggerated, embellished and misrepresentative. As far as
I am concerned, it has been a vindictive, deliberate and sustained
campaign.

Wilson is currently
doing two columns a week for News Ltd, one in the Sunday Tele and a second in
the Saturday edition. She is also doing the drive shift with good friend Tony
Squires on the new DMG FM station, Vega, in Sydney. There have been suggestions from News Ltd
that Wilson may
give up the columns to concentrate on her radio and TV work.

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