Connor hits back: ‘My posts did not defame TDU boss’

Francene Connor is being sued by former Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur. Picture: Calum Robertson.

In her court docket papers, Francene Connor also doubles down on her assert that a general public servant, the late David McFarlane, performed a key position in making the multi million-dollar party.

She asks the District Courtroom to dismiss Mr Turtur’s defamation assert, declaring her posts had been secured by “qualified privilege” and drew reactions from just forty seven individuals.

Nonetheless, in a penned reaction filed with the court docket, Mr Turtur states his lawsuit need to go ahead since Mr McFarlane’s position in TDU background is “merely perfunctory”.

Mr Turtur has asked the court docket to order Ms Connor pay aggravated damages for defaming his character on the internet with “improper motives” and “ulterior purposes”.

He claimed that, on Facebook, she falsely accused him of thieving credit history for the TDU from Mr McFarlane, who labored at SA Important Situations, and being silent to “maintain the lie”.

In addition, he asserted Ms Connor falsely accused him of becoming “arrogant, dismissive, demeaning and unacceptably rude” toward area mayors and race volunteers.

Two months afterwards, Ms Connor posted an “unreserved apology” on the internet, declaring Mr Turtur should be “applauded” for his contributions to each biking and the state’s overall economy.

Final 7 days, the court docket heard Mr Turtur was “somewhat confused” and “at a reduction for words” pursuing that apology.

In her defence papers, Ms Connor states her posts had been “not capable of conveying, nor in point conveyed”, the destructive imputations Mr Turtur promises.

She states they had been “not fairly capable of becoming, nor had been in point defamatory” of him, and that Mr Turtur had still left his position as TDU race director prior to her posts.

Ms Connor states her posts had been about the then-imminent revelation Lance Armstrong obtained $one.five million to journey in the 2009 Tour, and about Mr McFarlane – not Mr Turtur.

“In 1998, the submission penned and ready by Mr McFarlane in relation to the proposal for the TDU was lodged with SA Cabinet,” Ms Connor states.

“In June 1998, he was seconded to the situation of party director of the Jacob’s Creek Tour Down Under.

“I received this details from conversations with Mr McFarlane, my colleagues at the SA Tourism Commission and other acquaintances included with the TDU.

“I believed them to be genuine at the time of publication.”

Ms Connor also states Mr Turtur “became aware” of her posts “within 11 weeks” of them becoming produced but did not search for their removing “until fifty two months just after publication”.

That delay, she states, signifies he “was not worried about them” nor “regarded them as a significant matter”.

In his reaction, Mr Turtur asserts he “provided and directed information” to Mr McFarlane to get ready that submission.

“David McFarlane did not have everything approaching a sufficiently complete know-how or comprehension of skilled tour cycle racing to have been in a position to get ready, permit by itself ‘write’, the submission on his possess,” he states.

“Mr McFarlane’s involvement was basically the perfunctory undertaking of compiling the documentation below the route and supervision of Mike Turtur, who conceived of the principle and aspects of the TDU.”

The circumstance is set for a settlement conference upcoming month.