Ex-TDU boss files defamation lawsuit over Facebook post

Former Tour Down Under director Mike Turtur. Picture: AAP/Brenton Edwards.

The previous Olympic bike owner has requested the Supreme Court to purchase Adelaide marketing id Francene Connor fork out him aggravated damages for her “malicious” social media reviews.

He asserts she experienced “improper motives” and “ulterior purposes” when she claimed the TDU experienced basically been conceived by the late David McFarlane, of SA Key Situations.

Mr Turtur asserts she even more defamed him by boasting he stayed silent to “maintain the lie” and “ensured no credit rating was given” to any person but himself.

In addition, he asserts Ms Connor falsely accused him of being “arrogant, dismissive, demeaning and unacceptably rude” towards regional mayors and race volunteers.

Mr Turtur asserts individuals attacks destroyed his chances of remaining TDU Director – a purpose from which he stepped down in January – and uncovered him to “odium, scandal and contempt”.

“(Ms Connor claimed) Mr Turtur was a particular person who has deceived lots of persons with his dishonourable and untrustworthy carry out,” his court docket papers assert.

“(She claimed he has been) conducting himself as a pretender and a credit rating-consider(r) would, but could not deceive persons these kinds of as her, who have been on authorities boards and have an understanding of how big gatherings work.”

Mr Turter was the TDU’s inaugural race director in 1999 and, at any time due to the fact, the celebration has consistently been termed his “brainchild” in media protection.

On March thirty, 2019, Ms Connor released a Fb article about the then-imminent revelation that Lance Armstrong was paid out $one.5 million to experience at the 2009 Tour.

She also discussed Mr Turtur and his component in the TDU’s development in that article – in his assertion of declare, he suggests that was defamatory.

“(She claimed) Mr Turtur has, at least due to the fact 1999, acquiesced with the media reports that he conceived the concept of the TDU, which he understands to be false, and in reality stole the credit rating for the thought of the concept from Mr McFarlane,” the doc asserts.

“(She claimed) he has acted in a dishonourable and untrustworthy fashion by staying silent as to the alleged ‘true position’ due to the fact Mr McFarlane was a particular person who ‘was hardly ever a single to consider credit rating for his concepts and achievements’.

“(She claimed) Mr McFarlane hardly ever did everything to state the ‘true position’ to the media, thereby enabling Mr Turtur to preserve the lie and continue on to consider undeserved media credit rating and accolades that he knew belonged, in reality, to Mr McFarlane.”

It asserts Ms Connor’s article provided a quotation from Indira Gandhi evaluating persons who do work with individuals who consider credit rating.

“(She claimed Mr Turtur) is, by reference to a quotation from Gandhi, a single of the next variety of persons in that he did not do the work but is geared up to consider the credit rating for the work,” it asserts.

“(She claimed he) deliberately hid, and has ongoing to conceal, from the community the simple fact that he was not the particular person accountable for conceiving the thought of the TDU, realizing that the credit rating for that should have gone to Mr McFarlane.”

It asserts Ms Connor also referred to Mr Turtur when responding to reviews on her article, and that individuals mentions were defamatory as effectively.

“(She claimed) Mr Turtur, more than the time he was the race director of the TDU, experienced so badly taken care of regional mayors and sponsors in his purpose,” it asserts.

“(She claimed he) was an arrogant and dismissive particular person who made use of his position of authority to address persons, in particular volunteers and individuals supporting the TDU, in an unacceptably rude, demeaning and unacceptable fashion.

“(She claimed he) was a ‘pretender’ who only holds the position he does due to the a single ‘amazing person’ that worked for SA Key Situations, Mr McFarlane.

“(She statements Mr Turtur) was basically incapable of undertaking the work demanded to develop the thought of the TDU and through ensured no credit rating was presented to any particular person other than himself.”

The assertion asserts Ms Connor portrayed herself, in her article and reviews, as a particular person who “could detect individuals in authorities who basically did the work”.

“(The article and reviews) were downloaded and seen by … persons through Australia who were in positions of electrical power within just authorities so as to bring about harm to and destruction Mr Turtur’s prospective customers of being retained by the SA Authorities in his purpose as tour director of the TDU,” it asserts.

“Mr Turtur has been drastically hurt in his occupation, name and occupation … he has been introduced into community odium, scandal and contempt.”

It asks the court docket to award aggravated damages, owing to Mr Turtur’s “reasonable belief” in Ms Connor’s “malice, inappropriate motives and ulterior purposes”.

Her reviews, it asserts, were “targeting … persons within just the SA Authorities who held senior and influential positions”.

Ms Connor informed The Advertiser she could not comment on Mr Turtur’s lawsuit “as the subject is ahead of the courts”.

“I will be vigorously defending myself in this subject,” she stated.