‘Intolerable’: Sales reacts to unwanted kiss

 

ABC's 7.30 host Leigh Sales says she has been left "offended and angered" after an unwanted kiss from a man at a charity event in Sydney.

The acclaimed broadcaster was hosting a ball on Saturday night when retired businessman Phil Newman kissed her on the lips in front of 200 people attending the black tie dinner at the Hilton Hotel.

After being introduced by Newman - who's the director of a multiple sclerosis charity - he offered his cheek for Sales to peck and then turned his head suddenly to kiss her on the lips.

Witnesses say she screamed and said "hashtag me too" into the microphone, before composing herself and continuing to host.

In a brief statement issued by the ABC, Sales said she had "strong words to the man involved, he apologised and I accepted that apology".

 

Leigh Sales said she’s “angered” after retired businessman Phil Newman allegedly kissed her on the lips. Picture: Britta Campion/The Australian
Leigh Sales said she’s “angered” after retired businessman Phil Newman allegedly kissed her on the lips. Picture: Britta Campion/The Australian

"That should be the end of it as far as I'm concerned," she added.

"The only reason I am commenting publicly is that I feel, given how many people witnessed the incident, it would be gutless not to stand up and say that kind of behaviour is intolerable and the time for women being subject to it or having to tolerate it is long gone."

Newman is understood to have approached Sales again later that night and offered his cheek once more, but she refused and told him off.

He told The Guardian he was "horrified" when he realised he had offended Sales.

"I apologised on the night profusely and she accepted," he said. "It was an attempt at humour and light entertainment to start the night off.

"I am upset my judgment wasn't better. I am embarrassed I brought any disrespect on the foundation and on Leigh."

Sales was hosting the Trish Foundation for MS Research's Winter Wonderland Ball, which she has hosted for the past four years.

Sales was pelted with yoghurt at the Disrupted Festival of Ideas five weeks ago. Picture: Facebook
Sales was pelted with yoghurt at the Disrupted Festival of Ideas five weeks ago. Picture: Facebook

The incident comes five weeks after a man hurled a tub of yoghurt at Sales at the Disrupted Festival of Ideas, which was held at the State Library of Western Australia, at the end of July.

The yoghurt splashed Sales's legs, the stage and the curtains behind her. She stepped to the side and was briefly speechless.

A 49-year-old man was charged with common assault, with a police charge sheet revealing that the man was "upset and disagreed with the views being presented".


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