The moment Tracy Grimshaw demolished Don Burke on national television with one anecdote.

Sitting down to tell ‘his side of the story’ on A Current Affair after being accused of being a “twisted abuser” guilty of sexual harassment and assault, Don Burke was returning to the Channel Nine stomping ground where he was once safe.

But as he stumbled through denial after denial, he faced a relentless Tracy Grimshaw, who, in simply doing her job as a seasoned journalist, demolished a man accused of bullying and sexual harassment.

In one moment, she stood up for every woman, every victim, who’d been left without a voice for so many years.

Burke, who despite denying all allegations of wrongdoing, admitted that he’d, “done things he wasn’t really proud of” and that some of his staff it might have had, “a view perhaps, that I wasn’t nice person.” 

On this bonus episode of Out Loud, Holly, Rachel and Jessie discuss Don Burke and ask the question – what happens next?

Grimshaw didn’t hesitate to point out his blatant contradictions. 

“It’s interesting you saying that… because you released a statement saying that you have no recollection of a lot of these allegations,” she fired back.  “(You say) that didn’t happen, you are not that man. Are you now saying that you think maybe you did do them… that maybe you are that man?” 

Burke answered: “No, I’m not that man at all.”

The disgraced TV star went on to describe the “robust” environment he created at work. It may have made some reporters uncomfortable.

Grimshaw didn’t flinch.

“I have worked in prime time for 30 years, and nobody has ever showed me a (video of a donkey having sex with a woman) or attempted to pull off my bra,” she replied. 

Burke, appearing flustered, denied any such video existed.

But Grimshaw was not done. She had a personal anecdote to share.


Tracey Spicer talks to Mia Freedman about the investigation that exposed Don Burke. (Post continues after.)

“I was told a story years ago by a producer about you. You said that you were a geneticist and if you reproduced with this young family member, the baby would have the perfect gene pool,” Grimshaw stated.

Rendered speechless, Burke was left visibly reeling before making his flimsiest denial of all – that he had Asperger’s, with which he’d diagnosed himself, and “other failings,” therefore implying that his genes could not be perfect.

As his denials became increasingly bizarre, Grimshaw delivered a final blow – she made it clear that Burke was no longer discussing industry rumours that he could swat away with halfhearted apologies. He was on the world stage, with names and faces to those accusations that had long been whispered in television hallways.

Women were standing up and telling their stories, one by one by one.

“We are not dealing with rumours,” Grimshaw said. “Rumours are when you say, “Did you hear what Don Burke said about such and such”. It is not a rumour when a woman says Don Burke said and did this to me”.

“We’re dealing with people who have stood up and said this is what has happened. We have done stories similar to this and I know what it takes for people to stand up after 30 years”. 

Tonight, Tracy Grimshaw stood up for all those women by not allowing Burke to coast through, making denials and apologies.

Tonight, after Kate McClymont and Lorna Knowles broke the vigorous landmark investigation into one of Australia’s most recognised television stars, Grimshaw held the man to account.

She forced him to face his accusers, to answer for himself, in front of thousands of prime time viewers, in a way he’d never had to before.