Nine and Rinehart reach confidential settlement over House of Hancock

Sam Neil and Mandy McElhinney as Lang Hancock and Gina Rinehart in House of Hancock

Sam Neil and Mandy McElhinney as Lang Hancock and Gina Rinehart in House of Hancock

Billionaire Gina Rinehart has today reached a confidential settlement with the Nine Network whitch will see edits made to the second episode of the miniseries about her life House of Hancock before it airs on Sunday night.

In a rare weekend hearing in the Supreme Court, this afternoon, the court heard that the two sides had  negotiated a settlement, a move which would head off a potential attempt by the mining magnate to seek an interlocutory injunction preventing Sunday’s broadcast.

The court heard that the confidential deal will see last minute edits to the broadcast and also agreed to broadcast a line at the start of the show about it being a “fictionalised” drama.

Sources have indicated that Nine has agreed to edit several minutes of the 90 minute broadcast.

Rinehart’s camp declined to answer questions about the case but in a statement a Hancock Prospecting spokesman said: “Following negotiations this morning, the parties have reached a settlement the precise terms of which are confidential.”

“I can indicate that Channel 9 has agreed to excise certain scenes, and to include appropriate disclaimers. There will be no further comment at this time.”

Nine also released a statement on the matter, with a spokeswoman saying: “The Nine Network is delighted the matter is resolved with Mrs Rinehart. We’re very proud of the piece of drama which will go to air tomorrow night at 8.45pm.”

The settlement comes after yesterday’s successful court action saw Rinehart gain permission to view the series, which portrays the relationship between Rinehart, her father Lang Hancock and his second wife Rose Porteous, due to concerns there were “defamatory imputations”.

The case was back in Sydney’s Supreme Court this morning before Justice Peter Garling, who yesterday heard evidence that the Rinehart camp believes parts of the show are fictionalised with comparisons being made to the soap opera Dynasty

This afternoon Justice Garling made orders noting the agreed settlement and sealing the details of the agreed edits.

“I note the terms of the settlement signed and dated by me, following proceedings for an interlocutory injunction,” said Justice Garling.

“What is confidential is the terms of the agreed edits… I direct that the terms of the settlement are to be sealed unless there is an order by the court.”

The two sides have been ordered to pay their own courts and the case has been adjourned for a directions hearing on March 2.

Nic Christensen


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