Chris Smith takes another brutal swipe at Ray Hadley over Omicron panic aboard Coral Princess cruise ship and reveals he’s talking to defamation lawyers: ‘Covid bedwetters have embarrassed themselves’
- Chris Smith says ‘Chief Covid betwetters’ have ’embarrassed themselves’
- Smith hints at defamation case for suggesting he’s tied with cruise industry
- Smith said ‘the hysteria around the Coral Princess was utterly disgraceful’
- The radio host is filling in for Ben Fordham and said Hadley was ‘clueless’
- Hadley on Wednesday said he was ’embarrassed’ to be on same network
- Coral Princess docked in Sydney on Wednesday with 118 positive Covid cases
Fill-in 2GB breakfast host Chris Smith has threatened legal action against ‘Covid bedwetters’ as he doubles down in war of words with stablemate Ray Hadley.
Smith and Hadley have gone back and forth since Wednesday morning when Smith said we ‘shouldn’t panic’ about the discovery of new Covid cases about cruise ship the Coral Princess, comments described by Hadley as ‘foolish’.
On Friday morning Smith further sharpened his attack on his fellow 2GB host, telling listeners: ‘ I will not be bullied even by lifetime bullies. I love a good rumble, I look forward to further disagreements and I look forward to standing up for myself each and every single time.’
Smith then went on to say he had engaged two defamation lawyers over accusations made against him suggesting he was linked to cruise companies and that was why he made the comments.
Chris Smith says ‘Chief Covid betwetters’ have ’embarrassed themselves’ with their remarks about Covid infections on board the Coral Princess cruise and hinted at a potential defamation lawsuit
Hadley on Wednesday said he was ’embarrassed’ to be on same network as Smith after the fill-in host for Ben Fordham said people should not panic about Covid cases on board cruiseliner the Coral Princess: ‘Put it in perspective: there are only 118 positive cases on the Coral Princess’
‘Anyone who suggests I have and peddles that suspicion had better be prepared to defend themselves in court, I know I can,’ Smith said.
‘I have actually engaged two media defo (defamation) lawyers and will work on that very closely on Monday.
‘Do not listen to anyone in this place who tries to imply that I had any official affiliation with a cruise line which impacts my opinion, it’s garbage, it’s muckraking.
‘I do not have any connections, none whatsoever, why the hell would I?
‘It’s a nasty thing to suggest.’
Hadley first slammed Smith – who was filling in for regular breakfast host Ben Fordham – on his 2GB mornings show on Wednesday, saying he was ’embarrassed to be on the same network’ as him over ‘foolish’ comments he made about the Covid-infected cruise ship.
Smith bit back on Thursday saying the situation should be put into perspective before really drumming home his point on Friday.
‘Those that beat this up should be ashamed… peddling fear in this context is foul and shameful,’ Smith said on Friday.
He said the Coral Princess should not be equated with the Ruby Princess – the Covid-riddled cruise ship that helped introduce the first Covid wave to Sydney in March 2020 – and said ‘the chief bedwetters … have embarrassed themselves terribly.’
Smith hit back at suggestions he had made his comments about the cruise ship based on connections with the company involved. ‘Anyone who suggests I have and peddles that suspicion had better be prepared to defend themselves in court, I know I can’
‘Those that have elected to go down a twisted path and get personal to hurt me have terrible glass jaws and they have copped a terrible bashing on various media platforms, which says it all,’ Smith claimed.
On Wednesday morning, Smith said Australians don’t need to get worked up about the Coral Princess, which docked in Sydney on Wednesday.
He said passengers ‘knew what they were walking into’ on the ‘damn cruise ship’ – with more than 100 staff and passengers forced to stay on the boat until they returned a negative test.
‘We are in a different realm, this is very different. We have defences against the virus now and it’s not like following the Ruby Princess,’ Smith said.
‘I would argue we shouldn’t panic… We need to be real about this, put it in context. Let’s not get excited.
‘Put it in perspective: there are only 118 positive cases on the Coral Princess.’
In response Hadley attacked his colleague, saying he was ‘almost embarrassed’ to be on the same broadcast network.
Hadley on Wednesday: ‘I’m sorry but the sort of nonsense I heard on the network this morning was just foolish and I’m almost embarrassed I’m on the same broadcast network as that bloke’
Without naming him – but almost certainly referring to Smith – Hadley said: ‘One of my colleagues this morning was saying nothing to see here, it’s all wonderful, well, he’s a foolish person in my opinion in relation to the virus.
‘I’m sorry, but the sort of nonsense I heard on the network this morning was just foolish and I’m almost embarrassed I’m on the same broadcast network as that bloke, but anyway that’s another story I’ll deal with privately.’
Following Hadley’s comments on Wednesday, Smith did not back down saying he would take his advice from the medical experts.
‘I stand by what I said,’ the broadcaster told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The cruise company has let those passengers down with sloppy biosecurity measures.
Coral Princess passengers seen leaving the cruise ship after disembarking at Circular Quay early on Wednesday morning
‘But with 4.7 per cent of those on board becoming infected and 100 per cent of them fully vaccinated, this is nothing like the Ruby Princess case.
‘As the Queensland Health Minister said, “Covid is all around us”. I’ll take advice from the epidemiologists, thanks.’
The outbreak forced Princess Cruises to offer refunds to those booked on its next 12-day trip before it departed from Brisbane to Sydney on Monday.
A Princess Cruises spokesman on Tuesday said the crew who had tested positive in a recent full-screening were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.
The contagion on the vessel – which is a sister ship to the Ruby Princess that was linked to 28 deaths after an outbreak onboard in 2020 – is the first for the local cruise industry since it resumed trips after the pandemic.
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said protocols were in place on the ship before the outbreak.
The ship travelled around Queensland on Sunday before heading to NSW, where it is currently docked in Sydney
‘The virus is everywhere and there’s no escaping that,’ Ms D’Ath said earlier this week.
‘They will be testing staff more frequently at the moment and also encouraging any passengers with any symptoms whatsoever to come forward and get tested and they will have to isolate as well.’
Princess Cruises said they were ‘doing everything possible’ to ensure the safety of guests and crew.
‘We are adhering to comprehensive protocols that were agreed in conjunction with federal and state authorities and we are confident that they are working effectively,’ a spokesman told Australian Associated Press.
Princess Cruises said they were ‘doing everything possible’ to ensure the safety of guests and crew (pictured, the cruise ship docked at Sydney’s Circular Quay)