'I'M NOT EVIL': Don Burke's denies lurid allegations on ACA
TELEVISION personality Don Burke has denied he is an "evil person" and dared Australians to "make up your own mind" about the lurid allegations made against him.
Burke has given an interview to A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw about the sexual harassment claims made by a number of women who worked with him in the 1980s and 1990s.
He will tonight deny claims he indecently assaulted, sexually harassed and bullied dozens of women during his time as host of Channel 9's Burke's Backyard, one of the network's top shows for 17 years.
"I am happy to say to the people of Australia: this is my story, make up your mind if I'm the most evil person that's ever lived, that's your decision," Burke told Grimshaw.
"If you can forgive me for the stupidity and the other things I have done then I am very grateful, but I think that's their decision not mine.
"I have looked in the mirror and there's a lot I don't like. But that's up to the people of Australia to decide can they forgive me or not."
Burke suggested "the Twittersphere" had helped stir up the allegations in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and claimed to be the victim of a "witch hunt".
His interview with Grimshaw comes after the bullying allegations were published this morning.
A number of women featured in a joint Fairfax/ABC investigation about the activities of Burke, now 70, who worked with him in the 1980 and 1990s.
The women alleged he was a "psychotic bully", a "misogynist" and a "sexual predator" who sexually harassed and bullied a number of female employees.
Tonight's interview comes as the Nine Network distanced itself from one of its former big stars.
A spokesman said Burke was not going to be on air next year and said there were no plans to bring him back.
"We were not in discussions with him, he has done some occasional (A Current Affair) segments on around gardening, most recently for "Spring in September", but he is not going to be on air in 2018 and I have no knowledge of any discussions at all," the spokesman said.