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Sad story behind KAK's big pay day

Kerri-Anne opens up on Sunday

Kerri-Anne Kennerley sheds light on the freak accident that turned her family’s life upside down. Vision: Network Seven.


Without a doubt, TV star Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s most recent trauma as she spends each day by her husband’s bedside at Royal North Shore Hospital has been one of the big media stories in recent times.

John Kennerley, 76, fell hard on his head and broke his neck in a freak accident at Coffs Harbour golf course last month.

So far, most of the media has maintained a respectful distance, although even those closest to Kennerley are still questioning if it is too soon for her to talk. 

Barely any make-up: Kerri-Anne Kennerley as she appears in Channel Seven's <em>Sunday Night</em> program.

Barely any make-up: Kerri-Anne Kennerley as she appears in Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program. Photo: Channel Seven

Kennerley, 63, is rumoured to have been paid $350,000 by Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program to speak about her ordeal.


“I wake up thinking what a shocking nightmare that was … only that it wasn’t a nightmare … it’s real,” Kennerley, with barely any make-up or trademark glitz, tells the program in a “deeply personal exclusive” set to air this Sunday.

It is understood that Kennerley will receive the payment as a one-off; she is not contracted to any network although she has worked on all of the major commercial broadcasters over her 50-year career.

Kerri-Anne Kennerley and her husband John.

Kerri-Anne Kennerley and her husband John. Photo: Channel Seven

Sunday Night, which has struggled in the ratings, began airing a “teaser” of its interview with Kennerley last Sunday night.

The clip showed Kennerley talking candidly about the raw emotions she has experienced as her husband fights for his life, strapped to monitors and machines to help him breathe.

Kennerley tells reporter Mike Willesee her husband told her “I can’t feel anything” and that he was only hanging on “for her”.

Kennerley’s manager Sean Anderson, who brokered a record-breaking $3 million deal with the Beaconsfield miners to sell their story to Channel Nine in 2006, told PS this week that John Kennerley was expected to remain attached to the ventilator for the rest the of the year.

Anderson told PS he had been inundated with media offers from all the commercial television networks “since day one” for Kennerley to talk about her ordeal, although the star had held off speaking until her husband’s condition had “stabilised a bit”.

While Anderson would not be drawn on the fee paid, rival networks who missed out on the interview have suggested the figure was “well within the realm of possibility”.

The prognosis is a grim one and comes after earlier unsuccessful attempts to remove the ventilator in the days following the accident, a seemingly innocuous fall on a flat lawn that resulted in fractures to his C2 and C3 vertebrae.

Today John Kennerley can communicate only via a series of blinks and with the aid of an alphabet board.

The sight of camera crews filming John Kennerley in the Intensive Care Unit at Royal North Shore Hospital has also raised eyebrows, some questioning how appropriate such exposure is, given the perilous state of his health and his poor prognosis.

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