Tennis star Lleyton Hewitt has gone on the attack after
reports on Channel Seven’s Today Tonight and in News Limited papers
that he snubbed an intellectually handicapped fundraiser.

According to The Daily Tele Hewitt was guest of honour for a harbour cruise auction to raise money to
help Australian intellectually disabled athletes make their way to
Special Olympics World Games in China next year, but pulled out just 24 hours
before, citing a sore foot.

The tabloid claimed that
instead Hewitt played 18 holes at Terrey Hills golf course in
northern Sydney with former tennis ace Pat Rafter. The first instalment of the story came in the Tele yesterday, saying that Nine’s
Peter Overton had been brought in as a last-minute replacement for Hewitt on
the cruise and a Today Tonight story followed that evening.

Hewitt was so riled by
the reports he was on the Alan Jones breakfast show to defend himself. Jones swung behind
Hewitt and asked him if he had a deal with Seven. Hewitt confirmed he did before going on to bag Today Tonight‘s effort.

Interestingly, Seven’s
spokesman Simon Francis and news chief Peter Meakin weren’t
immediately familiar with the Hewitt’s deal and it’s status and there’s no word yet whether Seven will
take action over Hewitt’s criticism. “That’s up to others. Frankly, I doubt it.
But our people would have to look at the transcript first,” Meakin told
Crikey.

Peter Fray

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