Jackie ‘O’ Henderson has defended Lisa Wilkinson after Mark Latham slammed her during a parliamentary address for ‘always being about the money’ following the release of her tell-all memoir, It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This.
NSW One Nation leader Mr Latham, 60, blasted the former Today show host, 61, for ‘reinventing herself as a victim of the gender pay gap at Channel Nine’ on Wednesday under parliamentary privilege in the state’s Upper House.
He also said an old classmate alleged she ‘would take the free promotional merchandise’ from her days working at Dolly and Cleo ‘and sell them at the weekend markets and pocket the funds’ – a comment which didn’t sit well with Henderson, 46.
Speaking out: Jackie ‘O’ Henderson (pictured) has leapt to the defence of Lisa Wilkinson, after Mark Latham slammed her during a parliamentary address on Wednesday for ‘always being about the money’ following the release of her tell-all memoir, It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This
She said on The Kyle and Jackie O show on Thursday: ‘Big deal! Can I just say something? [Latham] doesn’t know for sure that she was editor at this point.
‘Lisa could have been just starting out, and when you’re working in the magazine world, you’re not getting paid a lot of money – especially when you first start.
‘She could have been getting paid $10,000 a year, like I was when I first started. And the fact that she’s getting freebies and selling them at the market – who cares? Good on her!’
‘I know why you’re coming to her defence,’ her co-host Kyle Sandilands chimed in. ‘You don’t set up a little store down at the Glebe Markets, but I know you recycle a lot of your…’
Shots fired: NSW One Nation leader Mr Latham (pictured) blasted the former Today show host, 61, for ‘reinventing herself as a victim of the gender pay gap at Channel Nine’ on Wednesday under parliamentary privilege in the state’s Upper House. He also said an old classmate alleged Wilkinson ‘would take the free promotional merchandise’ from her days working at Dolly and Cleo ‘and sell them at the weekend markets and pocket the funds’
‘I re-gift stuff,’ Henderson admitted. ‘Back in the day, if you had to do that to get a bit more money, then good on her.’
She also commented on Mr Latham claiming the same old classmate had said: ‘We went to Campbelltown High together and she couldn’t get out of here fast enough.’
Henderson, who worked with Lisa Wilkinson for a year on The Morning Shift in 2000, responded: ‘And someone saying she “couldn’t get out of Campbelltown fast enough” – that’s nasty. You don’t know. It’s just gossiping.’
She then wondered if Wilkinson regretted releasing her memoir in the first place given the amount of controversy it had generated.
‘Or is it good? Because people are like, “I’ve got to get this book God knows what’s in it?” Sandilands responded.
‘They say any publicity is good publicity…’ Henderson said, then confirmed both she and Sandilands had a mention in the book, which she would discuss at a later date.
Defiant: Henderson (pictured with Wilkinson in April 2005) said on Thursday’s Kyle and Jackie O Show, ‘She could have been getting paid $10,000 a year, like I was when I first started. And the fact that she’s getting freebies and selling them at the market – who cares? Good on her!’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted a representative for Lisa Wilkinson for comment.
In his parliamentary address, Mr Latham said publicity surrounding Wilkinson’s highly anticipated autobiography had revealed she’d been paid more than her Today show co-host Karl Stefanovic for many years.
‘Recently one of Wilkinson’s old classmates contacted me to say, “That’s Lisa, it’s always been about the money,”‘ the former federal Labor Opposition leader said on Wednesday.
Latham is a renowned advocate for Sydney’s west – not only living in the south-west, but having been born and educated in the area. He is also a former Labor leader and represented the seat of Werriwa in Federal Parliament.
Spray: Mr Latham claimed an old classmate of Wilkinson’s (pictured) had told him the TV star had ‘always been about the money’ and sold freebies from her first job to make a profit
‘We went to Campbelltown High together and she couldn’t get out of here fast enough,’ Mr Latham sad Wilkinson’s old classmate revealed.
‘When she was editor at Dolly and Cleo magazines Wilkinson would take the free promotional merchandise sent to her and sell them at the weekend markets and pocket the funds.
‘She’s always been as tight as all get out, it’s always about the money and the victimhood.’
Wilkinson claims in her new book It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This, that Stefanovic proposed in August 2015 they join forces to renegotiate their Nine contracts.
But she claims he ended up ditching this idea and instead played rival networks Nine and Seven off against each other in order to secure a better deal for himself.
Stefanovic was soon at the centre of a bidding war between Nine and Seven that resulted in him re-signing a five-year deal with Nine worth at least $2million per year.
Past: The classmate also claimed Wilkinson (pictured with her husband Peter) couldn’t have left Campbelltown fast enough despite the star saying she holds fond memories of her hometown
Wilkinson’s deal was worth significantly less, about $780,000 a year, and was only for two years, with the host describing the resulting pay disparity between them ‘so off the charts that no-one would have believed it’.
However, in an article written by political journalist Samantha Maiden, sources at Nine disputed her claims Stefanovic was ‘paid double’ what she earned.
They claim it was Wilkinson who was paid much more than Stefanovic for ‘many years’ after the pair first teamed up on Nine’s breakfast flagship in 2006.
Mr Latham slammed Wilkinson for having ‘a PhD in victimology’ and said the TV personality had ‘played the victim card’ while promoting her book online.
He referred to a lengthy Instagram post Wilkinson uploaded on Monday, where she said the writing process for her book often saw her looking ‘puffy’ with ‘mascara-stained eyes after hours of tears’.
Alongside the caption, the mother-of-three shared a candid photo of herself at home with son Jake, looking deep in thought as she wrote her autobiography.
View: Mr Latham claimed Wilkinson (pictured with her son Jake) was feigning distress and ‘playing the victim card’ by posting this photo to Instagram on Monday
Bombshell memoir: Wilkinson (right) alleges in her new book Stefanovic (left) proposed in August 2015 they join forces to renegotiate their Nine contracts but later ditched her to forge a better deal
‘Ever wondered what writing a book looks like? For me it was often like this: puffy, mascara-stained eyes after hours of tears and many months of a complete crisis of confidence, absolutely convinced I just wasn’t up to the task,’ she said.
Wilkinson revealed she was ‘comforted’ by son Jake one night in March, who acted as her editor and ‘assured’ her she was capable of submitting her finished chapters.
‘Boo hoo for her first world problems,’ Mr Latham said of the social media post.
‘Posting a picture from her Mosman mansion, with smudged mascara, feigning distress, while also carefully – in a classic product placement – posing with copies of Mr Wilkinson’s ghostwritten books in front of her.’
Mr Latham said for ‘elites’ like Wilkinson, feminist and gender pay-gap debate is just ‘another way of enriching themselves at the expense of others’.
Blast: Mr Latham slammed Wilkinson (pictured with Karl Stefanovic) for having ‘a PhD in victimology’ and said the TV personality had ‘played the victim card’ while promoting her book online
Career: Wilkinson (pictured) was the editor of Dolly magazine by the time she was 21 and the editor at rival magazine Cleo just four years later
‘There’s never any mention of the plight of migrant woman or poorly-paid factory jobs or sweatshops, there’s never any mention of the indigenous women having the life beaten out of them in country NSW hellholes,’ he said.
The NSW One Nation leader questioned how ‘a millionaire like Wilkinson living the high life in a Mosman mansion’ can portray herself like a victim and concluded by stating: ‘If this is feminism then God help the women of the world.’
Wilkinson was born in Wollongong but grew up in Campbelltown located in southwest Sydney, where she attended Campbelltown High School.
The budding TV personality was the editor of Dolly magazine by the time she was 21 and the editor at rival magazine Cleo just four years later.
The former editor has previously said she holds fond memories of her hometown, where her family have lived for generations.
Wilkinson Street in Camden is named after one of the TV star’s ancestors while her surname can also be found at the Campbelltown Showground.
Growing up: Wilkinson (pictured, right) was born in Wollongong but grew up in Campbelltown in southwest Sydney, where she attended Campbelltown High School
Her late father Ray was the president of the Campbelltown Harlequins Rugby Club and has a stand at the showground named in his honour.
As a teenager, Wilkinson worked at Wrench’s shoe store on Queen Street in Campbelltown and claims to have been bullied during high school.
She was sacked from the Today show in October 2017 after The Nine Network was reportedly ‘unable to meet her expectations’ for equal pay with co-host Stefanovic.
In her tell-all book, Lisa claimed the 47-year-old gave her the cold shoulder in the weeks before she was sacked by Nine.
In January 2018, Wilkinson joined Channel 10’s The Project for a rumoured multimillion-dollar pay packet.
New career path: In January 2018, Wilkinson (pictured with co-hosts Tommy Little and Waleed Aly) joined Channel 10’s The Project for a rumoured multimillion-dollar pay packet