None of the money former David Jones publicist Kristy Fraser-Kirk will receive after conciliation talks between the department store and its former chief executive Mark McInnes over allegations of sexual harassment will go to charity.
David Jones today confirmed in a statement to the stock exchange that the settlement amount with the company was $850,000, inclusive of all legal costs and expenses. It comprised a "smaller" contribution from Mr McInnes, the company said.
The settlement was reached in relation to Ms Fraser-Kirk's proceedings in the Federal Court and a complaint in the Australian Human Rights Commission.
In a statement released today by her media adviser, Ms Fraser-Kirk said that she had asked the court to award punitive damages, which were to go to charity, but "as the court will no longer be determining the case that's no longer possible".
"I look forward, however, to participating in charitable work in the future," she said.
Ms Fraser-Kirk had pledged to give any punitive damages she won to an unnamed charity for harassment victims. She had not specified the amount of money she sought in her claim for general loss and damages and what amount for punitive damages.
Ms Fraser-Kirk, 27, launched a $37 million lawsuit - Australia's biggest sexual harassment case - in the Federal Court against David Jones, nine directors and Mr McInnes.
She alleged Mr McInnes made unwelcome sexual advances towards her and claimed the retailer tolerated his continuing sexual misconduct. The allegations were denied by David Jones and Mr McInnes.
Mr McInnes resigned in June over the allegations, admitting he had behaved "in a manner unbecoming of a chief executive to a female staff member".
In today's statement, Ms Fraser-Kirk thanked her partner, family, friends and legal team for their support during the case.
“I could not have done this without the support and guidance from those in my life that matter most, to my partner, parents, family and friends, thank you and to my unwavering legal team, a special thanks. Also, to those members of the public who have supported me, thank you," she said.
Ms Fraser-Kirk said that she had been on a "difficult journey but one that I felt was important".
"The case has led to real debate taking place which I am confident will lead to change," she said.
"That is part of what the punitive damages claim was intended to achieve, and it has."
A breakthrough in Ms Fraser-Kirk's case took place during conciliation talks in the commission in Sydney on Friday.
Ms Fraser-Kirk said that the settlement was subject to confidentiality and she was "not in a position to say any more".
Mr McInnes, in a statement released today by his media adviser, repeated that the "vast majority of the allegations are simply untrue" and claimed that "the nature of the court proceedings was an abuse of legal process".
However, he welcomed the settlement, saying that it brought to an end a difficult time in many people’s lives.
He hoped that it "marks the moment that everyone can begin focusing on the future".
Mr McInnes said that he was looking forward to a new chapter in his family life and revealed that he would restart his career in 2011.
"I would particularly like to thank my partner Lisa, my family and many friends for all their love and support," he said.
Mr McInnes reiterated that the settlement was confidential "so I will not be making any further comment on these matters".