Friday, July 27, 2007

Kerry Packer's House Of Hookers Still Holds Dangerous Secrets

What Journalist Will Be Brave Enough To Reveal The Politicians And Business Leaders Who Accepted Packer's Sex Bribes And Corruption?

By Darryl Mason

In our story yesterday - Kerry Packer : King Of The Whores - we mentioned that journalist Paul Barry had faced legal threats over the inclusion, in his 1993 biography The Rise And Rise Of Kerry Packer, of key details about Kerry Packer's involvement with prostitutes, and the bordellos he set up for the pleasure of himself, his mates, Australian politicians and key business leaders in Barry's earlier version of the book The Rise And Rise Of Kerry Packer.

Barry has now explained all this in greater detail in a remarkable interview.

The immensely sad story of Carol Lopes, the woman Packer used to recruit his hookers, is filled out by Barry. And points to the ABC for not burying the lead.

Media magnate Kerry Packer used paid sex to advance his business and political interests, an expanded edition of his biography has revealed.

The revised edition of The Rise and Rise of Kerry Packer says the former PBL boss had a long-term mistress who supplied him with prostitutes and effectively ran a brothel for him and selected friends.

Mr Packer gave her a house and paid her regularly. He put her in a Los Angeles business but after it went bust, their contact stopped.

"She felt that she was being punished for that and she couldn't see Packer thereafter, she couldn't get through to him," Mr Barry said.

"She would dress up and go down to Consolidated Press and sit in the foyer, trying to see him, and she would be ushered away.

"She would try to ring him and she would write to him, and she would sit outside his house. She wasn't able to see him.

Barry denies it is cowardly of him to release the story after Mr Packer's death.

"I think you would have been suicidal to write something like this about Kerry Packer while he was alive," he said.

"I think he was personally quite a frightening man, anyway. He was rich enough to keep you in court for evermore, even if he didn't have a case against you.

"He had been very aggressive in pursuing legal action against journalists. He would sue them personally to make sure their own assets were at risk.

"I think it would have been legally extraordinarily unwise to publish this while he was alive."

The author says he left the stories out the original edition because he feared he would be sued for defamation.

"...the stuff that we really baulked at is the personal stuff, even though it involved allegations about a brothel being run for him and paying off business and political mates.

" ... when you've got a very rich and powerful man who has a lot of dealings with government and with politicians, who is running or causing to be run a brothel or a bordello to reward people he does business with or can have favours from, I think that's absolutely in the public interest to know about that. I think the public has a right to know about it."

So are Australians really that interested in finding out which particular politicians and business leaders frequented Kerry Packer's bordellos? Do they really want to know such details?

In short, is there still life to be found in this story for investigative journalists, seeing as Barry refused to name the politicians involved in his biography?

To gauge the level of interest from Australians in this story, here's three screenshots taken after the Packer's Bordellos story had been online for almost 24 hours.

From the News Limited homepage (the central hub site for all of Rupert Murdoch's Australian city daily, rural and suburban online newspapers) :

From the Sydney Morning Herald :

From the Melbourne Age :

It's worth noting that this is one of the few occasions where a story about a dead Australian businessman has beaten stories about American celebrities, or cute animals, or violent murders, to the top of the 'Most Popular Stories' rankings.

More than a million Australians, a massive slab on the Australian online news readership, accessed this within hours of it being published. Millions more read about in newspapers across the country, and heard it reported on radio.

Australians clearly want to know more, and it would not be presumptuous to say that they want to know who the politicians and business leaders are who were bribed, or repaid for favours, with free visits to Kerry Packer's bordellos full of very expensive prostitutes and escorts.

But will Australian journalists dare to dig deep and crack the rest of this story? Will they find out who these politicians and business leaders were, and what they did for Kerry Packer that earned them such generosity?

We'll hazard a guess :

No. Not a fucking chance in hell.

Some secrets are not worth discovering for those who dare to dig too deep, and go so far as to name names. Some closets are too full of skeletons to even dare to think about opening. You might get a bone in the eye.

Many prominent Australian journalists and senior ranking politicians will rip and tear each other to shreds in public, and in private, but they still have boundaries they will not cross. Even when it involves the use of prostitutes for bribery and to repay favours that have led to massive wealth gathering.

Hopefully in a few weeks, or months, we can update on this story here and highlight some excellent mainstream media investigative journalism that has told Australians which politicians allowed themselves to be bribed and corrupted by Kerry Packer, but we seriously doubt it.

Too many people, in politics and in the media, have shared secrets they never want revealed.

And once those kinds of tidal waves start hitting the beach, lots of people end up getting swept away.

Kerry Packer : King Of The Whores