Amber Harrison to foot Channel 7's legal bill
AMBER Harrison has been ordered to pay Channel 7's legal costs in her long-running battle with the broadcaster over her failed affair with chief executive Tim Worner.
The former Seven employee told Justice John Sackar last week that such an order - which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars - would be "punitive and pointless" and would drive her into bankruptcy.
The media company had sought a NSW Supreme Court permanent gag order against Ms Harrison preventing her from leaking company documents and details of her affair.
It contended that her social media posts had breached a confidentiality agreement in which the company agreed to pay her $427,418 in instalments for her silence.
On Monday, Justice Sackar found she acted "unreasonably" and ordered her to pay all the company's legal costs.
Up until just 10 minutes before the ruling, Ms Harrison was tweeting about last week's AFL announcement that two senior executives had been forced to resign over affairs with younger female staff members.
On the eve of the hearing, which was due to start on July 10, Ms Harrison abandoned her fight against Seven and agreed to the gag order.
The company then sought other orders, including one requiring Ms Harrison to pay all Seven's legal costs - which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In arguing against paying all the costs, Ms Harrison said she was a foster mother and if an order was made it would affect her ability to provide for her family.
"I should not be punished by the court system for taking a stand," she said.
But Seven's lawyer, Andrew Bell SC, said the court proceedings started when she published stolen documents containing confidential legal advice to the Seven board, and that she'd flagrantly breached a deed of release.
"All Seven has done in this case ... is come to court as it is entitled to do, to enforce rights and promises that were made to it in return for substantial sums of money," Mr Bell said.
The court action followed the collapse of mediation - the third between Seven and Harrison - over the fallout of her affair with Worner which began in 2012, and once it ended, exploded spectacularly into a three-year-battle over Harrison's departure.
The costly battle has bounced in and out of various courts, and saw Seven's share price fall amid the lewd revelations, a public apology from Worner, censure from the Board after an independent investigation, and an interim - soon to be permanent - gag order placed on Harrison in a war of legal attrition she calls "lawfare" and has warned will leave her bankrupt.