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Bec Hewitt's Orphanage Scandal

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Bec left 'devastated' by orphan claims

September 12, 2007

Sourced from AAP and Macquarie National News

Bec Hewitt is "absolutely devastated" by a Seven Network claim she broke her promise to build an orphanage in Cambodia.

Bec and Lleyton Hewitt's manager has slammed Channel Seven's Today Tonight program for targeting the couple's Cambodian orphanage project, saying the young couple are the victim of a "witchhunt".

In 2005, the TV actress wife of tennis player Lleyton Hewitt said she would contribute money to the Hope For Children orphanage, a project of the AIDS Trust of Australia.

Speaking to the Seven Network in 2005, Bec Hewitt said: "I want to build the orphanage over in Cambodia which will shelter 62 children and feed them and get everything happening in the building".

The couple publicly announced Bec Hewitt's reported six-figure sum from appearing on Dancing with the Stars in 2005 would go towards the project.

Seven's tabloid current affairs show Today Tonight on Wednesday however, has questioned the commitment of Bec Hewitt to the Cambodian charity project.

Tim Berry who worked with the organisation has told Network Seven not all that was promised was received.

"I suppose we were hoping we would get more out of it, but you know it's one of those things," Mr Berry told Today Tonight.

Lleyton Hewitt's manager David Drysdale rejected the claim, saying Bec had gone "over and above" her commitment to the orphanage.

"The whole thing is completely bizarre and we're not sure where it has come from,'' Drysdale said this morning.

Mr Drysdale said the Hewitts were disappointed by Seven's story, particularly as Bec Hewitt had worked for the network for many years.

"They're disappointed and pretty disgusted with where Today Tonight are going with it, and Bec's absolutely devastated that the television network that she used to work for has tried to do this to her."

"Bec can't understand that a network she gave her life to for so many years would turn around and do this to her.''

Today Tonight producer Phil Goyen and reporter Marguerite McKinnon have spent the past several days in Cambodia trying to expose the "truth'' behind the Hewitts' orphanage project, an initiative developed in conjunction with the AIDS Trust of Australia.

The Trust maintain the couple provided the figure they had committed to - believed to be around $65,000.

The amount was drawn mainly from Bec Hewitt's prize money from her winning performance on Seven's reality show Dancing with the Stars.

"Bec's commitment was fulfilled and The AIDS Trust just last week sent her an email thanking her again for her support,'' Drysdale said.

"It's ironic that Channel Seven are taking this track when the money she donated actually came from her prizemoney on Dancing With The Stars - they're on a witchhunt and it's completely unfounded.''

Drysdale said no attempt had been made by Channel Seven or Today Tonight to contact the Hewitts for comment.

Earlier today, the Hewitts released a joint statement which expressed their anger at the allegations.

"I can't believe that a television network that I gave such a large part of my life to for seven years would make up such a story to try to discredit me and my family. " Bec Hewitt said in the statement.

"It's devastating that people that I have known and worked with are the same people involved in creating this rubbish story."

Lleyton Hewitt described the story as un-Australian.

"To try to make a play on words so that a story can be fabricated, but never approach you for your comments or right of reply, is not what I thought being Australian was about," he said.

"I am sure that the public are smarter than what this show takes them for, and realise it's just sensationalist journalism."

AIDS Trust CEO Ross Smith, also quoted in the statement, said Bec had fulfilled her commitment to the orphanage.

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Jeez, Channel 7 just can't seem to get it right at the moment.

First they name a football player who they suspect is on performance enhancing drugs which turned out to be false and the player is now suing them. Then they go and broadcast on the news details from private medical records of football players which were stolen from a doctors office. And now they are going after Bec Hewitt with what looks like a false story. The Hewitt saga is really going to bite Channel 7 on the bum much like their recent behaviour in breaching the privacy of AFL players. It seems Channel 7 will stoop to any level just to get ratings. Will they ever learn????

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Correction, Today/Tonight and Seven "News" will stoop to any level. Their fictional programming is top-notch. It's just as shame that they feel the need to fictionalise reality as well.

Channel seven are the trashiest media outlet on network television, in my opinion. I never watch anything they classify as "news and current affairs" if I can help it, because more often than not it's just sensationalist garbage. If not bold-faced lies. The 4.30 news, despite being a pathetic undercutting of channel 10's "first at 5" motto, was actually alright for a while. Now it's as useless as the rest of it.

I never believe anything that Today/Tonight says. It has about as much journalistic integrity as the Jerry Springer show. Less, actually. At least Jerry has a final thought. I don't think the bottom-feeders responsible for Today/Tonight could muster an intelligent thought between them.

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I HATE Today Tonight, its absolute bull ****. I don’t know how many times that show has made me swear at the TV to '**** off', they put on that annoying stern and serious voice about issues they are totally ignorant about, some of which, most of which, are issues that they have absolutely no business in broadcasting with their very black and white views. Terrible show and so cringy, they are all so plastic and fake. :angry:

When I saw the storyline about Bec Hewitt being promo'd I was shocked at how pathetic and rude they were, obviously they were desperate for a celebrity 'exclusive' they searched their archive footage for something they could pick out and fabricate a storyline out of.

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