]The annual, fashion showdowns between department giant’s David Jones and Myer, are always interesting, and always colourful! But sadly for David Jones, this season they have most certainly gazumped, their ‘not mentioned rival’, in the colourful, and publicity covered stakes.
Unfortunately, this year, there’s not a swatch in site, and ‘scandal’ seems to be the ‘new black’!
To recap what’s hard not to miss given the media coverage it’s generated of late – former David Jones publicist, Kristy Fraser-Kirk has announced she’s suing her former employer for sexual harassment, for a record amount of $37 million dollars.
Kristy alleges In a statement of claim filed in the Federal Court in Sydney this morning, Mark McInnes, her ex boss and CEO of David Jone’s made unwelcome sexual advances (The Daily Telegraph reported.)
She also claims that during a lunch to celebrate a contract renewal between DJ’s and racing identity Gai Waterhouse, Mr McInnes urged Ms Fraser-Kirk to try a dessert by saying it was “like a f*** in the mouth”.
And that he put his hand under her clothes and touched her bra strap.
She claims he repeatedly asked her to accompany him to Bondi, where he lived, with “the clear implication that such a visit would be for the purpose of sexual intercourse”.
Now, I will say that if what Kristy says actually happened, happened, and she’s had the guts to take on a powerful company, and powerful man, then hats massively off to her.
She would have to be beyond deranged to put herself, and everyone she knows through this, if the claim is driven by rage, or financial gain. Time will tell, but for now, I really feel for her, because that takes enormous guts.
The problem also is, that in the bigger picture of this nasty, little fashion scandal which involves the treatment of women, is that the greater concept of what David Jones is about, and what they have done right for women, is in serious danger of going up in smoke like a cheap nightie on a heater!
If there is a boys club in David Jones’ then I hope it is stamped out, and the courts do their job. I hope Kristy is seen as the hero she is, and is offered another job elsewhere, and is allowed to get on with her life.
But there’s one thing that I hope does not get lost under the current cloud over DJ’s head. I hope that we don’t forget, that this is also the same company that has done what I believe is one of the most generous acts of it’s kind, and something I’ve never seen another retailer do to date.
And that is, donate a whole day’s trading from all its 37 stores nationwide, to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
I was there last year helping out the DJ’s staff at their last event on October 8th, and as I chatted to one customer that day that had survived breast cancer, I will say that it was an act from DJ’s that deserves to go a long way. And no doubt it did once the cheque arrived at the foundation. So let’s at least remember that.