Jessica Rowe reveals her assault at hands of drunken news director in new book

Studio 10 presenter Jessica Rowe. Photo: Damian Bennett Rowe hosts Studio 10 with Ita Buttrose, Sarah Harris and Joe Hildebrand. Photo: Facebook

Former Nine presenter Jessica Rowe and former Nine CEO Eddie McGuire in happier times in 2006. Photo: Jon Reid

Jessica Rowe

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Just weeks after accusing Eddie McGuire of making her life hell, Jessica Rowe has revealed the harrowing moment a drunken news director assaulted her at work.

The Studio 10 presenter described the alcohol-fuelled attack in her new memoir, Is This My Beautiful Life?, and revealed how she was discouraged by a television director from taking the matter further.

According to the excerpt published by The Daily Mail, the incident took place in an office corridor after the unnamed male colleague returned from a booze-fuelled lunch.

“He pressed his body against me but I managed to get away into one of the editing suites, where I rang one of the senior executives in tears,” the mother-of-two wrote.

“He counselled me and suggested that it wasn’t a big deal; I got the distinct impression I should keep my mouth shut if I wanted to stay working in that newsroom.

“I knew that working in the media could be tough and it wasn’t a career for the faint-hearted. I also understood how brutal it could be for women.

“Commercial television is still primarily run by men, and some of them have very outdated, sexist views.”

In her book Rowe did not mention in which newsroom the incident took place. Since starting her television career she has worked for Nine, Seven’s regional network Prime and Ten.

The revelation comes just weeks after the wife of Channel Nine newsreader Peter Overton accused former Nine CEO Eddie McGuire of making her life hell while she was a presenter at the network.

The Studio 10 panel were discussing controversy surrounding McGuire’s use of the word “mussie” to describe muslim Victorian sports minister John Eren, when Rowe launched into a scathing attack on the Collingwood president.

The mother-of-two was dumped as a co-host on the Today Show in 2006 when McGuire was reported to have wanted to “bone” the presenter.

“Eddie McGuire has form,” Rowe said, “and I can talk very much from personal experience.

“The way he allegedly used language against me in the past and the way he has used language to describe Adam Goodes… It’s highly, highly inappropriate, and then to try and explain it away as ‘oh, that was a brain snap or a brain freeze’ – no, that’s not on.

“I think you have to realise that when you are in a particular position and you use language like that, you think about the context of the language and I think it is racist, I think it is offensive,” Rowe continued.

“If he is not smart enough, and I don’t think he is, to moderate his language depending on the sort of forum he is in, he had to take the flak for it.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t have a lot of good to say about that man because he made my life hell.”