Don Burke denies sexual abuse allegations

Australian TV legend Don Burke has been accused of indecent assault and sexual harassment

Australian icon Don Burke accused of indecent assault and sexual harassment

The aspiring actress was Wendy Dent, who met Burke at the age of 21 when she acted the role of a fairy at the Melbourne Garden Show in the mid-1990s.

"He was talking to me about being able to help make my TV career, but starting with having me on Burke's Backyard as kind of a featured mermaid".

He later offered her an audition, but allegedly said she would have to be topless.

The eight-time Olympic medallist said she was "flabbergasted" by Burke's "crude and belittling" remarks, and told her manager at the time, Nick Cummins. "All of a sudden it was like this loss of this big break", she said. "This precluded him from ever becoming a major star", he said.

'I was sort of asking the other reasons that he chose to make the country change, and he said one of the reasons was he wanted to get horses because he had a [younger] female relative - i'll put it that way - who he liked to watch rub her c*** on its back, ' she told the ABC.

Cummins reported the incident to Channel Nine management prompting strong denials from Burke.

Journalist Tracey Grimshaw quizzed him about whether the allegations stemmed from his affairs and he said his colleagues may have had the view he "wasn't a nice person".

Mr Leckie said he did not recall her approaching him and there was "no way" he would have said something like that, and Nine never paid anyone to stay silent.

They said it is "simply not in a position to comment on these specific allegations or on how these sorts of matters may have been dealt with in the past".

A Current Affair's host, Tracy Grimshaw, put the hard questions to the now 70-year-old, who admitted he had been stupid and a bully and had engaged in multiple extramarital affairs - but said he had not said or done any of the serious things he was accused of.

Burke has so far denied the allegations and made a statement through his lawyer this morning.

The recent inundation of reports on sex abuse scandals in Hollywood - led by those involving movie mogul Weinstein - have had wide coverage in Australia, resulting in local journalists seeking to expose similar abuses in their local entertainment industry.

"I expected I'd get a handful or a couple of dozen of women responding. To this day 470 people have come forward", she said.

Burke is at the centre of a controversy regarding alleged sexual harassment and bullying of women in the 1980s and '90s.

But Burke and Denton forgot to explain or discuss one important thing - what happened to the audience for Burke's Backyard?

Spicer told the The Australian newspaper that this week she will release a dossier of 65 Australian media figures accused of sexually harassing and assaulting women. "But that's up to the people of Australia to decide if they can forgive me or not".

Burke said towards the end of his time on Burke's Backyard "I don't think I was a very good person" and that he "must have been a bear with a bloody sore head and I do apologise for that". "I think that is an evil in itself". "If Harvey Weinstein's been outed, Don needs to be outed".

'I felt really physically sick'.

'I remember at the Easter show one year, and I'm walking around with my mum, and then he goes on this tirade with "F" and "C", and I'm thinking, couldn't you tone down the language?' "There's always someone looking after them on set".

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