Former TV star Jana Wendt has slammed the ‘Me Too’ campaign to out male sexual predators and quashed a rumour she was a victim of assault in her youth.
The Gold Logie recipient, who was once Australia’s highest paid TV presenter, is speaking out after former Ten newsreader Tracey Spicer promised to publish a dossier of 65 lecherous Australian media personalities.
Wendt, a former 60 Minutes reporter who later hosted A Current Affair on the Nine Network, described the ‘Me Too’ campaign as a witch hunt in an opinion piece for the conservative Spectator Australia magazine.
Former TV star Jana Wendt (pictured with her husband Brendan Ward) described the ‘Me Too’ campaign to out male sexual predators as ‘public shaming’
The former presenter of A Current Affair quashed a rumour she was sexually assaulted at work
‘Public shaming and its consequence, public contrition, have overflowed like a blocked convenience during 2017,’ she said.
‘My own inadequate testimony notwithstanding, it would be a mistake, dear friends, to compromise on vigilance this festive season.
‘By all means, love and share, but beware of old men bearing gifts.’
The veteran journalist, who began her television career in the early 1980s as a Ten newsreader in Melbourne, also quashed a rumour she was a victim of a male sexual predator.
Jana Wendt has spoken out after a reporter suggested she was sexually assaulted in her youth
‘I have a confession, which I realise may disturb some readers,’ she said.
‘I was recently contacted by a very pleasant reporter who offered me the opportunity to relate my experiences with a hitherto unexposed sexual predator who, apparently, serially forced himself on women a couple of decades ago.
‘With a surprising degree of confidence, the friendly reporter suggested the alleged roll call of victims included me.’
The 61-year-old media star, who has hosted current affairs programs on Nine, Seven, the ABC and SBS, likened her good fortune of not being a victim of sexual assault to former Queensland Greens senator Larissa Waters discovering in July she was a dual Canadian citizen.
Jana Wendt is speaking out after former Ten newsreader Tracey Spicer promised to release a list of 65 lecherous Australian men in the media
Don Burke is, so far, the only high profile Australian media personality accused of sexual harassment by a string of women
‘It was with a sadness reminiscent of former Greens senator Larissa Waters’ upon discovering her Canadian-ness, that I was forced to report the man had never touched me,’ Wendt said.
‘Or if he did, I’d missed it. Nor had I been aware of any such claims about him until the reporter’s call. Disappointment all round. A case, I’m afraid, of #NotMeToo.’
As host of A Current Affair during the late 1980s, she refused to front the program for two days after it aired a segment about topless female shop assistants.
She is speaking out about alleged cases of sexual assault in the television industry three weeks after former Nine Network gardening show host Don Burke was interviewed on her old A Current Affair program to deny a series of claims that he had sexually harassed female colleagues.
Spicer’s promise to out Australian men in the media as sexual predators follows allegations of rape against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and former House of Cards star Kevin Spacey.