Aussie TV heavyweights in Sydney fist-fight drama

The CEO of Australian commercial channel Nine and media mogul James Packer have been caught on camera fist-fighting outside the latter’s Sydney home.

david gyngellNine’s David Gyngell (pictured) and Packer, son of the late Kerry Packer, were snapped in a brawl in the Bondi area of Sydney. The pair were eventually separated by Packer’s bodyguards, according to local reports.

The fight reportedly resulted in Gyngell losing a tooth and Packer getting a black eye, though the pair – who are childhood friends – later released a joint statement playing down the incident.

“We have been friends for 35 years and still are,” the statement read. “In that time we have had our fair share of ups and downs. We respect each other and neither of us will be commenting further.”

Gyngell is expected to continue as Nine chief exec, and no police charges are forthcoming. “David Gyngell has had and continues to have the full support of the board in his role as CEO of Nine Entertainment Company,” Nine Entertainment non-executive director and chairman David Haslingden said in a statement.

It later emerged Lachlan Murdoch, recently upped to co-chairman of father Rupert Murdoch’s publishing business News Corp., then travelled to Packer’s Bondi apartment. News Corp. acquired the images, which now appear to have been leaked online.

The Guardian Australian reported the fight was linked to a Nine Network News truck parked close to Packer’s home, which was said to have been waiting to film the media mogul and Hollywood actress Miranda Kerr.

Packer and Kerr have been linked in tabloids after they both split with their long term partners.

Gyngell is currently in his second stint as CEO of Nine, having previously resigned in 2005. Packer is a former owner of Nine and currently runs film and TV production firm RatPac Entertainment with Hollywood director Brett Ratner. He sold Nine to private equity firm CVC in 2006 in order to move into the gambling business.

The pair were best men at each other’s weddings.