Nine chair Peter Costello accused of knocking over Australian reporter Liam Mendes

Nine chairman and former federal treasurer Peter Costello has been accused of knocking over a reporter who tried to question him about the broadcaster’s recent scandals.

Australian Liam Mendes approached Mr Costello at Canberra Airport on Thursday afternoon.

The video, shot by Mendes, shows Mr Costello ignoring several questions about the axing of former Nine News director Darren Wick before appearing to push the reporter out of the way.

Mr Mendes asked Mr Costello why he had not publicly expressed his support for Nina chief executive Mike Sneesby since The Australian revealed Wick had been seriously accused of sexual harassment shortly before his resignation.

The reporter asked: “Mr Costello, my name is Liam Mendes from The Australian, do you support Mr Sneesby as CEO and his handling of the Darren Wick saga?”

Mr. Costello ignored the question and continued walking around the airport.

Mr Costello then appeared to make physical contact with Mendes and the Australian journalist was heard saying: “No, no” before falling to the ground.

The video shows Mendes lying on the ground saying, “You just attacked me.”

The Australian said two witnesses confirmed the account.

“I just saw this guy attack … and then I saw him (Mendes) on the ground with his shit all over the place and then (Costello) just continued on his way, walking away,” Mark O’Hare, who was at the airport to pick up his brother, he said.

A Nine spokesperson told NewsWire: “After arriving at Canberra Airport, the president was confronted by a reporter from The Australian.”

“While walking backwards, while filming the president, the journalist hit an advertising poster and fell,” said the spokesman.

“At no time did the chairman hit the journalist.”

Mr Costello repeated the answer when asked by reporters later that night about the incident.

“I didn’t hit him and if he’s upset about that, I’m sorry. But I didn’t hit him.

“I wasn’t mad, just like you here, if you’re retreating and there’s a placard behind you, you can walk into it.”

“I’ve seen it a million times in parliament: journalists have climbed the pillars and fallen, and that’s what happened.”

Asked if his chairmanship of Nine Entertainment was under threat, Mr Costello replied: “Rubbish”.

“No attack, like I said before he was coming back, he hit a billboard. I didn’t lay a finger or a fist or anything else on him,” he said, raising his voice

Leave a Comment