A television producer says he’s a million dollars out of pocket because the Gold Coast’s daily newspaper ran a story about his ad calling for a “single and attractive” personal assistant.
The career advertisement sought the new employee for a proposed reality TV show called Bikini Island.
Charles Dupois on Monday lodged defamation proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland seeking $1 million in economic loss from News Limited, plus another $500,000 in general and aggravated damages.
In the show, 100 girls would spend a month on a tropical island with 50 millionaires.
Mr Dupois claimed an investor pulled out after the Gold Coast Bulletin last month wrote about the production assistant ad.
Mr Dupois said the job ad was honest and upfront about the need for the assistant to be female, unattached and good-looking.
“When you have attractive women in this particular field, who are approaching clients, sponsors, branding companies … believe me, it helps you close the deals a lot more,” he told Fairfax Media.
“A lot of people don’t want to talk about this because they don’t want to talk about discrimination, but behind the scenes, this is the truth.”
Mr Dupois, 40, said he had learned from the experience of his previous reality TV show, Fantasy Island.
Mr Dupois said an unnamed investor had responded to another advertisement they had placed, looking for someone to fund $1 million in pre-production costs on the promise of a 30 per cent return.
“After that article went in [the Gold Coast Bulletin], we lost the investor, because of the innuendo drawn in it,” he said.
Gold Coast Bulletin editor Peter Gleeson said he could not comment while the issue was before the courts.
According to his court documents, Mr Dupois is also suing Channel Nine’s A Current Affair program for $50 million.
Mr Dupois maintained Bikini Island would go ahead later this year, starring him and a yet-to-be-cast model as co-hosts.
He plans to film on an island in Malaysia, Thailand or Fiji, and recruit the contestants from Croatia, Russia and Scandanavia.
“We were originally going to cast girls from Australia, but because of all this defamatory and derogatory innuendo and so on, we decided we weren’t going to do that,” he said.
Mr Dupois, who describes himself as an international recording artist and world peace ambassador, said negotiations were underway to have the show screened in 120 countries.
“What man in his right mind is not going to watch a show featuring some of the most beautiful women in the world prancing around an island in their bikinis?
“And which woman is not going to want to watch the show to compare her body and appearance, or to say something nasty – that’s the world we live in.”
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