Swim coach sues Channel Nine - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swim coach sues Channel Nine

By Janelle Miles 17/10/2003 05:40:14 PM Comments (0)

Australia's highest-ranking swimming coach Greg Hodge is suing Channel Nine for running a story he believes made him out to be a "sexual predator" and a "dangerous stalker".

The writ for defamation, filed in the NSW Supreme Court, alleges "malicious" intent against Channel Nine over broadcasting claims by former swimmer Emma Fuller on A Current Affair this week.

It alleges Channel Nine acted with disregard of Mr Hodge's rights and with a desire to injure him.

Mr Hodge's lawyer Robert Todd, of Blake Dawson Waldron, said he would seek an expedited hearing so the coach could continue to prepare for next year's Athens Olympics.

The writ seeks unspecified damages from Channel Nine, which has a contract with Australian Swimming for broadcasting rights until 2008.

Mr Hodge, Australian Swimming's high performance director, faces claims by Ms Fuller that he inappropriately touched and kissed her when she was a 12-year-old boarder in his home in the mid-1990s.

He's also accused of stalking her in recent months.

Mr Hodge has strenuously denied the allegations.

"It is silly to suggest that I followed her and totally out of character for me, except possibly by coincidence as I went about my daily activities, travelling in areas I've lived and worked for 20 years," he said in a statement.

"This is doing extraordinary damage to the way swimming should be taught in Australia."

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