Tuesday, October 26, 2010

exclusive: Why the DJs Sexual Harrassment Case Crumbled

Frank Monte on 'Larry King Live'
 When the Social Shuttle revealed  that noted private eye Frank Monte ( "the best in the business" according to US chat show host Larry King on CNN) had been hired to look into the background of the former David Jone's publicist Kristy Fraser-Kirk, the news set of a firestorm of speculation.

Kristy Fraser-Kirk

In the now famous case , Fraser-Kirk claimed she had been sexually harassed by David Jone's CEO Mark McInnes and she issued a lawsuit against him claiming $37M in damages.
Last Tuesday she settled with the accused and the DJ's department store chain for $850,000 after negotiations in the Human Rights Commission. Both sides claimed victory while McInnes denied any wrongdoing.

The Shuttle attended a small gathering on Friday with a bunch of Rumpole types and the subject was hot gossip.
The Daily Telegraph claimed that Fraser-Kirk had been offered a settlement of $8M very early on when the lawsuit was announced.
Our legal eagles claimed a correction-the actual sum offered was $9M. So why did Fraser-Kirk  settle so quickly for such a small sum by comparison ?

As the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Saturday, a mysterious email had been in circulation (and was seen by tSS) that purported to show just who Frank Monte's client was. Both David Jones and Mark McInnes had denied hiring the gumshoe.

Enter McInnes best friend and gym partner, the general manager of a travel agency that arranged most of DJ's corporate travel. McInnes is godfather to that travel agent's son.

A spokesman for McInne's denied the ex DJ's boss had any knowledge of the travel agent's actions in hiring Monte. Perhaps he was just being a very helpful friend.

Frank Monte & Sharon Sargeant
But the talk over whisky sours at our lawyers bash was of the rapid deterioration in the Fraser-Kirk's case from the day it was announced Monte had entered the frame.

One of our lawyers claimed he had heard talk about evidence uncovered  that would not go down well in a court and which would prove highly embarrassing.
It was certainly clear that after Monte had done a round of media interviews, the case for David Jones & McInnes strengthened.

"Give us more details" we asked but our source wasn't revealing much.
His enigmatic reply :
"David Jones really should be couriering a gold plated AMEX store credit card to Frank Monte right now "
 On the subject of the World's Most Famous Private Eye  ( as the New York Times called him) we have now encountered Monte out on the town at two swish balls with his ex-fiancee Sharon Sargeant on his arm.

The pair were at the Black & White Ball  2 weeks ago where Sargeant caused a stir in her striking red sequin outfit ( the theme was black and white!).

On Friday night they attended actress Rachel Ward's  Mother Of All Ball's "Rock The Kasbah". Whilst Monte easily slipped into the role ( he originally comes from Alexandria) Ms Sargeant channeled Hollywood in a striking silver body hugging frock that drew a wide-eyed "Mama Mia!" from Ward's husband, actor Bryan Brown.

Has Sharon moved back into Monte's Potts Point luxury Ikon apartment ?. She wasn't saying. But she has sold her Red Velvet escort agency to an American corporation. The couple had split when news of her ownership of the agency was revealed by a tabloid.

And future plans ? " I'm going to be launching my own line of family friendly adult products" says Sargeant. The mind boggles.