Former Footy Show host Sam Newman is threatening legal action against Channel 9. Picture: Michael Dodge/AAP
Former Footy Show host Sam Newman is threatening legal action against Channel 9. Picture: Michael Dodge/AAP

Sam Newman wants to sue Channel 9

Controversial commentator Sam Newman is reportedly threatening to take legal action against his former employer Channel 9, just months after leaving the network.

The former Footy Show host is planning to sue the network, claiming he was defamed in a news report that published comments from photographer Wayne Ludbey, according to the Herald Sun.

The decision comes months after Newman was forced to apologise for comments he made about former AFL star Nicky Winmar during an episode of the You Cannot Be Serious podcast, which he hosted with Don Scott and Mike Sheahan.

Sam Newman is reportedly threatening to sue Channel 9 over the publication of alleged defamatory comments. Picture: Nicole Cleary
Sam Newman is reportedly threatening to sue Channel 9 over the publication of alleged defamatory comments. Picture: Nicole Cleary

Winimar took a famous stand against racism, lifting his jersey and pointing to his skin after being subject to abuse from the crowd during at match between St Kilda and Collingwood in 1993.

The picture of Winimar's stand was captured by Ludbey, a Sunday Age photographer.

In an episode of the You Cannot Be Serious podcast uploaded in June, Newman, Scott and Sheahan suggested Winmar may have just been pointing at his "guts" rather than taking a stand against racism.

The comments attracted significant backlash, with both Winmar and Ludbey beginning legal proceedings against the men.

The matter was settled outside of court after the trio issued a public apology and removed the episode.

Nicky Winmar’s stand against racism in 1993 was photographed by Wayne Ludbey. Picture: Mark Stewart
Nicky Winmar’s stand against racism in 1993 was photographed by Wayne Ludbey. Picture: Mark Stewart

 

The signed apology from Sam Newman, Don Scott and Mike Sheahan to Nicky Winmar. Picture: Twitter
The signed apology from Sam Newman, Don Scott and Mike Sheahan to Nicky Winmar. Picture: Twitter

But now, Newman is claiming comments made by Ludbey following the controversy were defamatory, with legal letters being sent to the photographer and multiple news outlets.

Newman told the Herald Sun the legal action had "nothing to do with Nickey Winimar" and was instead focused on Ludbey's comments.

"It is the comments he (Ludbey) made about our motivation that we have absolutely taken offence to and are erroneous and wrong," Newman said.

"The notices were sent out to Ludbey and the people who broadcast or printed the reprehensible and extremely offensive comments."

Newman addressed Ludbey's criticism in an episode of his podcast last month, calling it a "malicious act" and "extremely offensive".

He hinted that legal action would be taken against Ludbey, saying he was "putting him on notice".

"It's without foundation and it's defamatory and reckless in the extreme and we will be issuing legal proceedings against him," Newman said.

"So I'm just putting him on notice that he should check his mailbox because we will be issuing him with legal proceedings."

It has now been confirmed Newman is also taking action against media outlets that published Ludbey's comments, with his former employer Channel 9 being one of those outlets.

Sam Newman was one of the hosts on the Footy Show before parting ways with Nine. Picture: Channel 9
Sam Newman was one of the hosts on the Footy Show before parting ways with Nine. Picture: Channel 9

He told the Herald Sun the decision to include Channel 9 in the legal proceedings was not personal but the legal advice he received was to include all publications that had published or republished Ludbey's comments.

A spokesperson for Channel 9 told news.com.au the network wasn't commenting on Newman's legal action.

Newman's employment with Channel 9 ended in June after he sparked severe backlash for comments made about George Floyd, whose death sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the world.

The commentator said he and the network had "mutually decided" to part ways, saying the past 35 years at Nine had been "fantastic".

The decision came after Newman labelled Floyd, a "peice of s**t" on an episode of his podcast.

"George Floyd … is piece of s**t," he said. "He has been in jail five times, he held up a pregnant black woman with a knife, he's a drug addict, he's a crackhead and he's a porn star.

"He's dead because of the police brutality and it never should have happened. But I am telling you who George Floyd is, now they've made a monument about him and he's a piece of s**t".

Newman refused to apologise for his comments, saying he was "100 per cent right" on what he said.

 

Originally published as Sam Newman wants to sue Channel 9


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