Sky News host Rita Panahi has demanded Lisa Wilkinson be charged with contempt of court as calls grow for her to be sacked following her Logies speech.
Panahi has insisted legal action be taken against The Project co-host accusing her of ‘a***hattery’ and acting like someone who ‘believes the law doesn’t apply to her’.
‘A high school media studies student could’ve told Wilkinson, and the entire brains trust at Ten, that the speech was out of bounds,’ she wrote in a scathing column for Herald Sun.
Wilkinson is under heavy fire after she mentioned alleged rape victim Brittany Higgins in her speech moments after winning the Outstanding News Coverage Logie award for her one-of-one interview with the former ministerial staffer in 2021.
Sky News host Rita Panahi has demanded Lisa Wilkinson be charged with contempt of court as calls grow for her to be sacked following her Logies speech
Panahi has insisted legal action be taken against The Project co-host accusing her of ‘a***hattery’ and acting like someone who ‘believes the law doesn’t apply to her’
The acceptance speech has forced the rape trial which was due to start next week to be rescheduled until October and could result in Wilkinson being charged with contempt of court.
‘Wilkinson isn’t some inexperienced intern who didn’t know any better; she is a media veteran in her 60s well aware that her speech could undermine the accused, Bruce Lehrmann, receiving a fair trial,’ Panahi wrote.
The Sky News host brought up an old tweet made by Wilkinson that indicated she was aware of the legal repercussions of mentioning details of the Higgins trial.
‘On the issue of the 26yo man summonsed for an alleged sexual assault of a woman in Parliament House in March 2019 can I implore everyone to respect what’s in play here,’ Wilkinson wrote on August 6, 2021.
‘Naming the man on social media & passing judgment could have dire consequences for the outcome of any trial.’
Panahi claimed Wilkinson believed the ‘law doesn’t apply to her’ and that the backlash from the speech should ‘serve as a warning to others in the media’.
There are growing calls for Wilkinson to be shown the door by Network 10, adding to the pile-on from current and former colleagues, rivals and public commentators calling for Wilkinson to be axed.
Viewers have also jumped on the bandwagon calling for her to be sacked or at least taken off-air until an outcome in the rape trial is reached.
‘Producers and editors, please get this person from TV, radio and newsprint. she is totally embarrassing for your organisations,’ one man posted online.
The fallout from Lisa Wilkinson’s Logies award acceptance speech continues with calls for her to be axed
One woman added: ‘ She needs to go , her EGO is so big , Channel 10 need to remove her from The Project. Just a piece of work, wouldn’t have any idea about interviewing people, time she went.’
Another woman wrote: ‘Yes she should be held responsible for her arrogant actions and sacked. A very painful woman.’
Some went as far as calling her a national disgrace.
‘Surely at some point 10 will realise Lisa is a liability? She has made that show unwatchable,’ one woman commented.
Another wrote: She should be sacked or arrested,. Who does she think she is?’
Others reluctantly believed Network 10 will stand by her.
‘She’ll no doubt have the full endorsement and support of Channel 10 and ‘The Project’,’ one man wrote.
‘Cynical me thinks it’s an attempt to stay relevant as she slowly fades into obscurity along with all the rest of the ‘Woke Folk’ she works with.
There is a growing chorus of calls for Lisa Wilkinson to be sacked over her Logies speech
Other viewers called for Lisa Wilkinson to be taken off-air by Channel Ten until an outcome in the Brittany Higgins rape trial
Many viewers have jumped on the bandwagon calling for the media veteran to be sacked
The massive backlash prompted some of Wilkinson’s supporters to leap to her defence.
‘Lisa Wilkinson hasn’t come this far to intentionally jeopardise anybody. As a young editor she educated a generation of teens about their body’s I wouldn’t of survived the abuse I’d suffered without the information she offered in Dolly mag. Everyone’s so quick on the bandwagon,’ one person tweeted on Thursday.
Another argued: ‘But she made no judgement, didn’t give her opinion , nor mention anything pertaining to the case ! How is that jeopardising, contempt? It’s just the accused looking for an excuse to not go to trial.’
Wilkinson joined Network 10 in late 2017 following her highly-publicised departure from Nine over a pay dispute.
The network have stood by Wilkinson and hired one of Australia’s top barristers amid concerns she could be charged with contempt of court.
Australian Bar Association president Dr Matthew Collins was approached to represent Wilkinson and the network on Wednesday, just hours after he blasted her on breakfast television over the ‘ill-fated’ Logies speech.
Lisa Wilkinson (right) won a Logie for her television interview with alleged rape victim Brittany Higgins (also pictured)
Wilkinson and Network 10 have since sent an urgent letter to the judge offering to stop talking about the case altogether.
The letter included references to the fact that ‘interfering with the court proceedings could result in contempt’.
It is unclear if Wilkinson will be charged with contempt of court, however, it is understood that she could find out about any consequences by the close of business on Thursday.
It follows scathing comments from ACT Chief Justice Lucy McCallum on Tuesday, when was forced to postpone the trial of Higgins’ accused rapist due to Wilkinson’s speech.
Wilkinson’s Logies speech late Sunday night was watched by millions of viewers moments after winning a Logie for her interview with Ms Higgins days after the former Liberal staffer went public with her allegations she was raped at Parliament House by a colleague in 2019.