The ongoing allegations against Australian television stalwart Don Burke are still unfolding, and today we have another one to add: a Fairfax journalist has revealed that the Burke’s Backyard star once sat next to her at an awards show and asked to lick her back.
Caroline Wilson, a respected sports journalist and commentator, recalled the incident to Radio National.
She – heavily pregnant at the time – was put at the same table as Burke at the 1996 Logie Awards.
“He seemed like a nice bloke. The awards ceremony started and I remember I was wearing a navy blue velvet maternity evening dress,” she said.
“I turned around to look at the stage and I said to Don – because we’d been talking – ‘Please excuse my back’ because I was turning my back to him.
“He said, ‘Not at all. Do you mind if I lick it?’ It was gross. I wasn’t devastated or traumatised by it… it’s nothing compared to what he’s allegedly done to some people. I didn’t really talk to him much during the [rest of the] night.
“Obviously there were times as a woman in a man’s world where things were said to me. But the only time I remember someone in the TV industry saying anything [that] gross to me was Don Burke.”
Earlier this week, Fairfax and the ABC published a huge joint investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by a number of women during the course of his 17-year career as the host of Burke’s Backyard.
He denied the allegations, and later claimed that his self-diagnosis of autism may to be blame for misunderstanding people’s body language – a statement he was thoroughly rinsed for by the Australian autism community.
Journalist Kate McClyrmont, who is working with Tracey Spicer to uncover allegations of wide-spread sexual harassment and assault within the Australian media industry, told Sky News yesterday that there’s “hundreds” of women coming forward about Burke.Image: Getty Images / Patrick Riviere