A judge has warned veteran TV host Simon Reeve and Seven Network there will be “no games” in his court as the two battle it out over whether Mr Reeve is entitled to a big payout after being let go earlier this year.
On Wednesday morning Federal Court Justice Geoffrey Flick told the lawyer for Mr Reeve to expect a “rough ride” next week if the former presenter failed to hand over documents requested by the network.
Mr Reeve first worked at Seven in 1979 and has appeared on screen in numerous roles, including Weekend Sunrise sports presenter, news presenter, and host of Million Dollar Minute, and It’s Academic.
But in mid-2020 he was let go and is now suing the network.
He says he is owed more than $500,000 in unpaid entitlements and compensation over his unceremonious dismissal, a claim described as “ambitious” by Seven’s lawyer Yaseen Shariff SC.
Whether Mr Reeve was an independent contractor or an employee at the network is in dispute.
The veteran host was eager for the case to go to mediation, Justice Flick heard on Wednesday morning.
But Mr Shariff said Mr Reeve had thus far resisted handing over certain documents, and without them mediation would be “unfruitful”.
The documents related to other work performed by Mr Reeve and his company Simon Reeve Productions Pty Ltd, the court heard.
Justice Flick was unpersuaded by the explanation offered by Mr Reeve’s lawyer Jaye Alderson, telling her: “Don’t start playing games in my court.”
He also turned fire on Mr Shariff, saying “I don’t want games being played on your side either” after an indirect answer to a question about what other documents may need to be produced.
“I just don’t want games being played,” he repeated as he told the parties that he expected documents to be produced unless they were privileged or the request was an oppressive one.
“I encourage you if you wish to survive, both of you, to effect a bit of co-operation,” he said.
The case is likely to go to mediation, the court has previously heard.
The matter is next in court on Monday.