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Doubts whether new board members were told of Seven affair

The Australian today has questioned a lack of disclosure by Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes to three board members who joined in June 2015.

According to the article Jeff Kennett, Shirley McGregor and Michael Millett only learned of  Tim Worner’s relationship with Amber Harrison when she went public with her story on December 18th.

The affair lasted from November 2012 to July 2014. Stokes had known about it since mid-2014, when it is understood Tim Worner offered his resignation, it suggests. He became SWM CEO in mid-2015.

The trio were reportedly also not told of Seven’s subsequent deeds with Ms Harrison, once executive assist­ant to then-Seven magazine boss Nick Chan, or her claim against Seven in the Australian Human Rights Commission.

So far Shirley McGregor, a lawyer and partner at Gilbert + Tobin, has refused to outline publicly her reasons for resigning from the SWM board, a day before an investigation cleared Worner of misconduct.

On Wednesday Kerry Stokes was asked in a media phone conference if he had instructed her not to comment on the matter?

“That’s outrageous,” he told Australian journalist Will Glasgow. “Are you seriously suggesting I or my board would tell a director what they can and can’t do? How dare you! Sheila McGregor is a very forthright person who’ll make the comments she deems appropriate when she thinks they’re appropriate. Thank you.”

Jeff Kennett defended the board’s actions in an article this week, claiming reportage had been too “one-sided.”

A Seven spokesman said: “This issue was fully considered by directors at the time and since has been fully considered by the board and detailed­ in a number of public statements over the past two months and canvassed during our results presentation. The board has considered the findings of the recent independent investigation and made a public statement on those findings. We have nothing further to add.”

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