Channel Nine’s TV movie about Gina Rinehart, the world’s richest woman and Australia’s richest source of outrageous news stories, begins shooting later this month. Over the weekend, details have started to emerge about the project, and it’s starting to sound like the most compelling TV experience of the year.
The movie is called Gina v Rose: The House Of Hancock, and will focus on the decades of acrimony between Gina Rinehart and Filipina-born former housekeeper Rose Porteous. Porteous married Gina’s father, mining magnate Lang Hancock, in 1985, then quickly remarried, to his friend William Porteous, after his death in 1992.
A series of spectacularly ugly lawsuits followed. Rinehart took Porteous to court, claiming that she only married Hancock for his vast fortune, and that she nagged him to death with a series of tantrums and arguments. An inquest into Hancock’s death was halted when it was alleged that Rinehart had paid off witnesses, and Porteous later took action against Rinehart to cover her massive legal fees.
The PR blurb for the show promises that it will dish the dirt on “a bitter public feud lasting two decades: filled with forbidden love, murder accusations, drug charges, illegitimate children, court cases and epic betrayal, all played out in the media, and all for Gina to retain control over the staggering Hancock family fortune.”
Given that the bulk of this drama took place in the ’80s and ’90s, it’s only natural to expect Dynasty and Days Of Our Lives-like production values, with shoulderpads, ridiculously huge hair and crystal ashtrays being smashed against walls in jealous rages. Anything less will frankly be a disgrace.
The Daily Telegraph report that Mandy McElhinney, better known as Rhonda from the AAMI commercials, will be playing Gina Rinehart, while Malaysian-born actress Peta Sergeant, of Winners & Losers, will play Rose Porteous. Sam Neill will lend some much needed class and gravitas to the whole thing as Lang Hancock.
Bring this mess the fuck on.
Photo: Paul Kane via Getty Images