Seven wins Mel B case

By David Knox on April 18, 2013 / Filed Under News, Top Stories 49

2013-04-18_0946Seven has won the case to prevent Melanie Brown from joining Australia’s Got Talent on Nine this year.

The Sydney Supreme Court handed down its decision this morning.

Justice David Hammerschlag gave both parties thirty minutes to look over the judgement to see if they have any objections to publication of his findings.

He also found that Seven’s Brad Lyons was a plausible witness.

A hearing for costs will take place later.

Neither Melanie Brown nor husband and manager, Stephen Belafonte, attended the court this morning.

In a statement Seven said, “Seven Network welcomes the decision of the court upholding its contract with Mel B and preventing her working for a competitor in breach of contract in 2013.”

There is speculation Nine will announce Geri Halliwell as a likely replacement for the show, due to air later this year.

49 Comments »

  1. unclepete April 19, 2013 at 10:59 am -

    LOL @ Brekkie… :D

    That may have actually worked!

  2. John Jackson April 19, 2013 at 10:20 am -

    Seriouslysquare – it isn’t as simple as just a different name. Those on X factor are both mentors and judges. On Got Talent they are just judges. On X factor those singers who make it through are very much told what to do, and how to do it by the mentors. They have input but their mentor basically tells them what song they thinkwill be good for them, how they should do their performance, how they should look, etc. on Got Talent all the judges are there for is to judge. They’re not picking songs and going through the rehearsals, and telling them how to do things.

  3. maya April 19, 2013 at 7:59 am -

    I really hope they take this opportunity to pick an Aussie judge. If they can pick foreign celebs who haven’t done anything since the 90’s, surely there’s plenty of Aussie talent who were big a few years ago who are available. Probably for a lot less money too.

  4. Annette April 19, 2013 at 7:25 am -

    David mel b deserved evrything she got she broke her agreement . She did wrong by seven . Nine should know better .so they are at fault as well. In reality AGT is rubbish it failed in the ratings on seven will do the same on nine . The days of kylie sandilands grubby comments are over .people want a love fest look at the voice

  5. Brekkie April 19, 2013 at 5:28 am -

    Good luck with Geri Halliwell – maybe Nine should have used that as their defence. “If we don’t win we’ll inflict Geri Halliwell on Australia”.

  6. David Knox April 19, 2013 at 12:31 am -

    Neither do I!

    Never said it was nice and proper anywhere.

  7. vitieddie April 19, 2013 at 12:11 am -

    David, so do you think it was all nice and proper the way it played out. She had visa problems so she dropped X Factor due to the mentoring. Then later got picked for AGT on a rival network. There were no breaking of contract or deception from Mel B (and/or Ch 9)?

    I don’t think so.

  8. David Knox April 18, 2013 at 11:41 pm -

    I have no argument about calls to use more Aussie judges. My ‘mento’ line is regarding those who keep asking why visas prevented her inclusion on one show and not another. It’s been written here numerous times.

  9. seriouslysquare April 18, 2013 at 11:25 pm -

    mentor… judge… isn’t that like splitting hairs? In Australia’s got talent the judges vote whether you go threw or not… that is a judgement same thing happens with the X factor.

    the voice has true mentors, but again they are judging you on your talent.

    sorry David, but my comment about not having Australian judges stands. it is after all Australia’s got talent, yet there are no talented judges from Australia…

    Maybe the next talent show could be Australia’s top judge… but who would judge that? Judy??

  10. Archer April 18, 2013 at 9:51 pm -

    @ Dave April 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm –
    Why bother with contracts then? Stations pay a great deal of money for particular people to increase their ratings, so if they cant be exclusive don’t expect the big $.

  11. John Jackson April 18, 2013 at 9:23 pm -

    Yeah, Australia’s Got talent wouldn’t be so hard for her to do compared to X factor with all the mentoring. I know there’s contracts and all but it is a bummer she supposedly won’t be doing got talent now. I did really want to see how she worked with Kyle and have a bit of a thing with Dawn French again ( the Spice Girls did quite a bit of things with Dawn French over the years).

    Kinda sad if she just does nothing for the next year because X factor is too time consuming, and now looking like being blocked from 9.

  12. David Knox April 18, 2013 at 9:01 pm -

    Visa issue has been explained many times. One word: “mentoring.” People need to read comments as well as news articles.

  13. Annette April 18, 2013 at 8:43 pm -

    How interesting mel b could not appear on the x factor because of visa issues but she could appear on AGT without any visa issues. Considering both shows are taped in australia how could this be .some ones been telling fibs. The court decision is a correct one . Mel b did the wrong thing by seven. She broke her contract .nice way to treat her employer who made her a star in this country and if it wasnt for her x factor appearancces in this country she would never have got the gig on americas got talent. Clearly she only thinks about herself

  14. Aaliyah April 18, 2013 at 7:37 pm -

    Now I won’t be watching Australia’s Got Talent. Mel B will still be on our screens on Fox8 for America’s Got Talent.

  15. Dave April 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm -

    channel 7 shouldve just let her go. when will television take precedence over petty contractual issues?

  16. unclepete April 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm -

    Yes!! First the Lords win their case and now this…

    Has the legal profession in this country entered the Twilight Zone? They are starting to make sense.

  17. Armchair Analyst April 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm -

    How long does her contract run for David, because if its still a fair while its not going to be a healthy or possitive working relationship.

  18. river April 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm -

    Why isn’t anyone commenting on the news you’ve provided re Geri Halliwell?! This seems very likely, considering how close she is with Mel B (they’re always tweeting each other), maybe Mel got her as a back up. Geri was also the biggest Spice Girl back in the day, with her leaving being worldwide news – Nine could use this in a good way. She’s also the most successful solo Spice in Australia with a few top 5 hits here. Not to mention Geri guest judged on X Factor UK last year, there’s some entertaining footage on YouTube of her and Gary Barlow.

    Its a shame, as I liked Mel B’s promotion of Australia with her genuine love for it, but… the move wasn’t fair to Seven.

  19. carolemorrissey April 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm -

    Well she’s doing the US version of America’s Got Talent or X Factor, so she won’t be out of pocket. Seven will probably just leave her in limbo till her contract is up.

  20. Mr. J April 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm -

    TXF starts filing on Monday, and still no 4th judge, and i have heard that Nat & ronan are also still up in the air despite pretty much being confirmed the other day when danii was confirmed.

  21. jumpjakflash April 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm -

    How funny would it be to see Kylie Minogue judging Australia’s Got Talent, while Danii is over on The X Factor. I wonder which show would get more viewers…

  22. John Jackson April 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm -

    @seriouslysquare – Kyle isn’t the only Australian judge. There is also Timomatic. He came to fame through So You Think You Can Dance and then a previous series of Australia’s Got Talent.

  23. Andrew_83 April 18, 2013 at 2:37 pm -

    How many contracts does Kyle Sandilands breach yet he’s still keeps his job! I’m sure one of the contract clauses for AGT was “don’t reveal to public before the announcement” yet he told all his radio listening audience the morning before the ads aired.

  24. smit0847 April 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm -

    She would have been a perfect host for Celebrity Splash……….

  25. seriouslysquare April 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm -

    why are Australian talent shows getting judges from oversea’s?? it is Australia’s got talent yet the only Australian judge isn’t even talented… (kyle sandi pants)

  26. PJC April 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm -

    I feel for Mel B.. obviously she won’t be appearing on anything out here this year as Seven don’t have anything for her. This was Seven trying to stop Nine from gaining one of ‘their’ more popular personalities. Clearly Sandilands wasn’t on a similar contract with Seven or Seven just didn’t care to see him go.

  27. Pertinax April 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm -

    Seven did release Mel B from her contract for
    The X Factor, as she asked, if she agreed not to work for another Australian network till 2014.

    Most of the case hinged on whether or not those terms, which her agent agreed to, were emailed properly.

    Seven didn’t want to build up her profile up and then have her use it to compete against them. Mel B is free to work anywhere else but for a rival Australian TV network till 2014.

  28. Guy April 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm -

    It was the right outcome in the end. I doubt we will see Mel B on The X Factor again this year but then again stranger things have happened.

  29. MM April 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm -

    Channel 9 have to be blamed for this, surely Mel B has a copy of the contract with 7 so why didn’t channel 9 check the contents before they signed her, typical of 9 to jump in feet first just to say they have pinched something or someone from another channel but they don’t do their homework, don’t have time anymore for 9 and there pathetic pettiness anymore, in my opinion they are like little children in their ways, gone are the days when it was a channel to look up to.

  30. mr darcy April 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm -

    I was looking forward to the Dawn French/ Mel B angle. Given that French’s comedy partner Jen Saunders wrote the Viva musical I’m sure Dawn and mel have had whispers and maybe that’s been an in-industry thing? Now that she’s out, I bet 9 are hoping to recruit someone as sure fire as Scary Spice as I’m sure Dawn was looking forward to having an ex pat pal on the panel. 9 will have to do their hard yards to meet with a similar panelist to make Dawny feel at home. I’m not saying Dawn French can’t hold her own, but thousands of miles from home and sat on a panel I’m sure a bit of homegrown talent (UK) would have sweetened the deal for her. I’d hate to see her say alongside Sandilands and just other B grade Australian talent – past singing talent show contestants.

  31. Tony Bee April 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm -

    A good decision. People should have to honour their agreements, even celebrities.

  32. Carta April 18, 2013 at 11:58 am -

    Archer – AGT requires a much smaller commitment than X-Factor. As David has pointed out before, she could fly to Australia each week for the live shows if she wanted to, which is something that she can’t do as a mentor on X-factor. From memory, Kyle Sandilands flew back and forth almost weekly between LA and Sydney for AGT in one of the seasons.

  33. Carta April 18, 2013 at 11:56 am -

    Mel can’t do X Factor – two of her kids’ fathers won’t sign their Visa application forms, so unless she’s happy to leave the kids behind for 3-4 months while she works in Australia, she’s unavailable. If Seven has her on a retainer, then she’ll be paid the retainer fee until January. She’ll have to find some other source of income in the meantime, since Seven have nothing else for her. Seven could have released Mel from her contract (given the circumstances), but clearly, they’ve chosen not to and will now be expecting Mel to cover their court costs. Nine might now decide to pursue a case against Mel for breach of contract. The decent thing for Seven to do now would be to come to some sort of financial settlement with Mel so that she’s free to work elsewhere.

  34. Mr. J April 18, 2013 at 11:56 am -

    im very interested in ch9’s response. they have made some statements over the last few weeks that should leave them very red faced now. Their original defence could have been that Mel misrepresented herself (which would be bull, the shows are made by the same company, i find it difficult to believe that there was no way to check if she was still signed to another network) but even after the case had been heard in court and all the cards were on the table they still thought she could win – as seen in the release announcing julia as host.
    to quote judge judy: ‘You’re either playing dumb, or it’s not an act.’

  35. deedeedragons April 18, 2013 at 11:55 am -

    Ugh. That’s a downgrade in Spice Girl.

  36. Archer April 18, 2013 at 11:42 am -

    So if Eddie Murphy and another child’s father wouldn’t allow the kids to leave the US how could she work on Ch 9 anyway?

  37. Bella April 18, 2013 at 11:39 am -

    Good win for Seven. I wonder if Mel B will appear on Seven again this year after all this?

  38. Karlos April 18, 2013 at 11:34 am -

    I think it’s fair that Channel 7 won, although I really love Mel B and hope to see her on our screens again soon!

  39. David Knox April 18, 2013 at 11:10 am -

    It isn’t clear what Brown’s party told Nine in their dealings, let’s wait for the publication of the judgement. Auditions so far are only with producers as preliminary. The show has not filmed any with judges yet.

  40. NCISfan April 18, 2013 at 11:08 am -

    I’m confused. So why did Nine bother to get her, when auditions have already begun across the nation? Or are these “auditions” not the ones shown on TV? I’m confused. Some clarification will be greatly appreciated. =)

  41. danny April 18, 2013 at 10:58 am -

    I agree with the consensus that Mel’s actions have made her appear transparent. If Seven keep her on air, I can’t imagine it to be on The X Factor: Australia.

    This is certainly the first time in my life where I can actually declare that the justice system got it right.

  42. Jason April 18, 2013 at 10:52 am -

    So right. A contract is a contract is a contract, unless both parties agree to early termination.

  43. David Knox April 18, 2013 at 10:51 am -

    Case was against Stephen Belafonte, not Nine.

  44. vitieddie April 18, 2013 at 10:43 am -

    Yes agree it was the right outcome … I firmly believe Ch 9 was not an innocent party in this …

  45. Sarah H April 18, 2013 at 10:40 am -

    What a mess!

    Shame though, I enjoyed her on tv here.. See ya next year Mel! (I hope!)

  46. John Jackson April 18, 2013 at 10:26 am -

    Shocker! What does this mean now? Mel B not appearing on anything at all now – if so not sure if that’s the right outcome. Or is she’s going back to X factor and Ronan is now the only male, and then Aus got talent has to change all their promos and say sorry for telling people the wrong thing, and now get somebody to replace her?

  47. MuchoTB April 18, 2013 at 10:19 am -

    Yay!! Now will they bother trying to keep her on X Factor or ditch her?

  48. jonno April 18, 2013 at 10:16 am -

    So glad Seven won. They kicked started her languishing career and she did that to them. She is damaged goods in Australia and Nine should not even look at her for next year. Yes, this is harsh but I was her biggest fan and feel let down.

  49. J Bar April 18, 2013 at 10:14 am -

    This was the right outcome.

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