Chris Smith Sky News Christmas party: Andrew Bolt, Laura Jayes and Rita Panahi call for host to be sacked

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Chris Smith’s Sky News colleagues have publicly denounced his behaviour at the network’s Christmas party over the weekend, calling for the TV and radio host’s immediate sacking.

Andrew Bolt and Rita Panahi discussed Smith’s future with the network on air Monday night during The Bolt Report amid an investigation into Smith’s conduct at an event in Sydney, after which allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards his female colleagues reportedly arose.

Journalist Laura Jayes took to Instagram to agree with Bolt and Panahi’s stance on the matter, writing, “Good riddance” with a link to their comments.

According to The Daily Telegraph, it is believed Jayes made a complaint about Smith’s behaviour on the night in question to management in support of the women involved.

The incident and Smith’s subsequent suspension from both Sky News and 2GB radio led to his wife moving out of the family home they share with their twin sons, The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday.

Smith is currently seeking mental health and alcohol addiction treatment at a facility.

On Monday night, Sky News presenters Bolt and Panahi addressed the scandal during their broadcast.

“What he did on Saturday night, how he made a number of women feel means that in my opinion he can never be on this network again,” Panahi said.

Bolt was similarly of the opinion that he should be sacked: “Your recovery must take place somewhere else, not here … Good luck but goodbye”.

Smith, 60, addressed the incident in an interview with The Daily Telegraph on Monday, in which he revealed he was seeking treatment for his bipolar disorder and alcohol issues.

“I am beyond gutted and devastated to know I have upset my colleagues after our Christmas party,” the father-of-four told the publication.

“I apologise profusely to the women I upset. That’s not the man I am at work, ever, as they will all attest. They have been so supportive to me and do not deserve such drunken treatment.”

Smith continued: “I pride myself on my professionalism and work ethic but I have dropped the ball and embarrassed many people including those I love most – my family. I am very sorry.”

Smith was absent from the 2GB airwaves yesterday, where he was due to fill in for Ben Fordham on breakfast. A spokesperson revealed he has been stood down from his role as investigations by Sky News continue.

Smith attended the TV network’s end of year celebrations at The Ivy in Sydney on Saturday, before staff members moved onto The Establishment where an incident allegedly unfolded.

“The person involved has been suspended while an investigation into the allegations is undertaken,” a Sky News Australia spokesperson said.

“The welfare of our staff is our absolute priority. We have a zero-tolerance approach to inappropriate conduct and take these allegations very seriously.

“There will be no further comment while the investigation is carried out.”

Smith told The Daily Telegraph he had no recollection of the events.

The radio and TV personality has made headlines for his behaviour in the past. He was similarly suspended by 2GB in 2009 for allegedly harassing four women at the Christmas party that year.

At the time, Smith told The Sunday Telegraph the incident had destroyed his family and could ruin his career.

He admitted to being drunk on champagne and red wine at the party, and that he had taken “the wrong antidepressants”.

“I was in a crazy extended drinking mode,” he said.

“That has happened to me a few times over the last decade – I just black out and that’s what happened. I’m not saying by any means that that’s an excuse. It’s not.”

He managed to return to the airwaves, but his marriage to Ali Smith, with whom he shares two children, did not survive the incident.

It is understood his wife, nutritionist Susie Burrell, with whom he shares twin boys, has moved out of the family home following his latest scandal.

Originally published as Colleagues slam TV and radio presenter Chris Smith after Christmas party scandal

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