Saturday, 10 May 2014 00:00
It was ‘juicy’ news for the Australian media. Casino mogul billionaire James Packer who had hit the headlines in Sri Lanka in recent weeks, was now big news in his home country. His fight with business partner David Gyngell was sensational news.
The media went to town. Video clips, exclusive press photographs, eye witness accounts, interviews with neighbours kept readers, listeners and viewers busy. News websites had enough and more to report.
Jams Packer became ‘James Whacker’ in ‘The Daily Telegraph’ headline along with a full page picture of the fight.
Amidst detailed descriptions of the incident, there was at least one with a difference.
‘Packer Gyngell street brawl: How Sydney saw the funny side of Bondi street fight’ gave a humorous touch to the whole episode.
Trash talking turned into fisticuffs outside the home of Bondi billionaire James Packer, when local garbage collectors went toe-to-toe.
As the sun was rising over Bondi Beach, the lads re-enacted the Sunday afternoon fight between Packer and Channel Nine CEO David Gyngell.
“All I want is two-fifty! Two dollars fifty,” one of the garbos said in front of The Daily Telegraph photographer Ross Schultz.
Driving past Packer’s $22m residence a short time later, another garbage collector did some shadow boxing in preparation for round two. Well played lads.
Several pictures were also published.
A news story describing the fight as ‘A brutal David and Goliath battle’ started thus: An angry text fired off by billionaire James Packer demanding Channel 9 boss David Gyngellt remove a news truck from outside his Bondi Beach pad ignited the sensational street brawl between two of Sydney’s highest-profile businessmen.
A witness described the vicious brawl as “like two mad dogs going at each other’s throats.”
A ‘Blow by blow account’ said: The first punch was a left hook; a wild, off-balanced lash from a furious man, charging with intent in his eye. It was James Packer’s left paw, still wrapped around his BlackBerry, heading for the face of his mate. And it misses
Explosive photographs and video footage of the fight were said to have been sold for more than $200,000 – to one of Packer’s best friends – Lachlan Murdoch, boss of News Corp Australia.
“As the billionaire gaming mogul nursed his wounds – and, potentially, his ego – after the fight with the Nine Entertainment Group boss, a media bidding war led to the cost of the explosive photos rising well above initial estimates,” a website reported.
News Corp websites used the pictures with the words ‘News Corp’ heavily watermarked over them.