The feud between two of Australia’s biggest TV stars over a car slot has been revealed in full for the first time after it reared its ugly head following this year’s controversial Logie Awards.
Experts at Network Ten have lifted the lid on Lisa Wilkinson’s clash with respected news anchor Sandra Sully in 2017, earning The Project host the nickname “parking robber” and dividing loyal staff.
It started, says a former Ten employee, when Wilkinson made his high-profile switch from Nine in the wake of his controversial firing after a decade at Today.
And you don’t bother Sandra. You just don’t. We love Sandra,’ says former Ten staffer
Lisa Wilkinson has been accused, publicly and privately, of nipping Sandra Sully’s car spot in 2017.
Lisa Wilkinson allegedly entered a car slot reserved for Sandra Sully at Ten’s Sydney studios (pictured)
As soon as the decorated presenter and journalist arrived at Ten’s Pyrmont studios in a bright white Audi convertible (for whom she is a longtime ambassador), Wilkinson reportedly walked into a well-located car park, one of the few, very close to staff entrance.
The only problem was that the slot, clearly marked ‘reserved,’ belonged to Ten legend Sully, who was due to arrive later that day to prepare for his usual 5:00 p.m. broadcast.
The safe space was of particular importance to Sully who, earlier that year, had spoken for the first time about the violent attack he had survived 20 years earlier, which took place in the parking lot of his apartment complex in 2007.
Held at gunpoint by a masked criminal, Sully managed to escape a far worse fate after the man pulled the trigger twice, only for the gun to fail to fire.
I still don’t like being surprised. If someone makes a loud noise, I jump. I’m always on my toes in a parking lot,’ Sully said. Stellar in 2017.
Ten sources say Wilkinson, who joined the network a month before Sully spilled the beans, was politely informed by parking lot security that the space was not to be used by anyone other than the newsreader and that it would be arranged. one for her.
Despite this, Wilkinson is alleged to have continued to use the reserved space and even toppled the traffic cones that were placed around the space to prevent her from taking it.
“At first, it became a joke that this was happening and it was something we all gossiped about about hair and makeup,” said a Ten staff member who has since switched networks.
‘But then it kept happening. And we all started to see how much it bothered Sandra.
And you don’t bother Sandra. You just don’t. We love Sandra.
A small handful of advocates are understood to have sided with Wilkinson, with a senior Ten executive suggesting that Wilkinson and Sandra “share” space given that the newscaster usually arrived at the studio later that day.
Wilkinson, he reasoned, could use it until Sully arrived.
Wilkinson was politely informed by parking lot security that the space was not to be used by anyone other than Sully in 2017
However, this tactic apparently backfired as Sandra allegedly arrived at Pyrmont to find her spot continually occupied by Wilkinson’s white Audi.
‘This is when the colleagues really started to recover [around Sully]’ Ten’s informant said.
‘And it became such a big deal because who in their right mind gets off the hook with Sandra?’
Ultimately, the matter was quickly resolved when Wilkinson stopped visiting the Pyrmont studios and settled solely in Melbourne, where The Project is filmed.
But the incident still lingers at Ten, resurfacing last week when former Channel Ten meteorologist Tim Bailey publicly criticized Wilkinson following his troublesome Logies speech.
‘Happily retired’ but Tim Bailey made his thoughts on Wilkinson clear
“Just accept your little trophy and go!” Bailey tweeted, referencing a famous comment once made by comedian Ricky Gervais.
He said goodbye with the hashtag #carparkthief
Reached this week for further comment, Bailey, who was sensationally fired from his popular meteorologist post at Ten in 2020, walked away from the controversy, telling Daily Mail Australia: “I’m in Thailand on holiday… I had no idea.” of the ruckus.’
He added: “I’m a million miles away from all that stuff and happily retired.”
However, ten employees close to the former meteorologist confirmed that he and Sandra remained “firm friends” thanks to their 20-year working relationship.
Former Ten news consultant and streaming legend Peter Meakin, who has since left Ten and now works for Roving Enterprises (which produces The Project), declined to speak about the now-infamous saga despite being present at the show. net.
“I’m afraid I don’t have anything to say that adds anything to this story,” Meakin told Daily Mail Australia.
“But I know both of them (Sully and Wilkinson) and I have plenty of time for both of them,” he said.
However, several hints about the couple’s current relations became clear last week in the wake of Wilkinson’s Logies speech, which resulted in The Project star being warned by the ACT Supreme Court to refrain from discussing publicly. the case of Brittany Higgins.
Wilkinson was criticized by both the public, the legal fraternity, and the media for mentioning Higgins even though the case had not yet been heard in court.
Tellingly, Sully “liked” a tweet condemning Wilkinson that read, “If only she had stuck to silly stories like the paparazzi harassing her on Chapel Street.” I hope that she will now stand back and allow people to seek the justice that (both sides) deserve.”
Wilkinson has ‘parted’ from The Project in the wake of the Logies furor
Sully then deleted his ‘like’, but not before many of his colleagues at Ten, past and present, took note of it.
“Some of us saw it and knew exactly what it was,” said one.
Interestingly, Ten has since eliminated staff parking altogether, and employees can now ‘rent’ a space if they wish.
Wilkinson, Sully and a Network Ten spokeswoman all declined to comment further this week when contacted by Daily Mail Australia.
Meanwhile, Wilkinson, one of the highest-paid personalities on Australian television, stepped away from her role on The Project until mid-July, according to reports.
Supposedly, Nine also deleted Wilkinson’s speech, given when he picked up the gong for the most prominent news coverage for his interview with Brittany Higgins, from his Logies broadcast coverage.