Gareth Cliff (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Axed Idols judge Gareth Cliff earns a package fee of R356 160 to judge 10 sessions of the popular reality singing contest, court papers revealed on Tuesday.
In papers lodged in the High Court in Johannesburg, and obtained by The Juice, Cliff explains he is "no racist" after losing his position in the upcoming Idols series, for saying in social media that a racist comment by Penny Sparrow was freedom of speech.
"I am not a racist and neither do I in any way support or endorse the racist views of Sparrow and her travelers," Cliff says.
He explains his thinking behind the statement that caused him to lose his Idols job.
"As a person who has long been committed to non-racialism, nation-building and our constitutional democracy, I found the views expressed by Sparrow to be objectionable, disgusting and idiotic. I was deeply offended thereby."
"As an ardent believer of free speech, I was however also of the view that Sparrow had a right to express her objectionable views."
He is suing M-Net for R25m, of which R5m is for defamation of character. Another R20m is damages resulting from his contract being ended.
M-Net had an "unlawful knee-jerk reaction... in misguided protection, at my expense, of its commercial interests, which were not in fact under any threat..."
He had built up a brand over years, he said.
"I make my entire living out of the media, broadcasting and entertainment industry, where I have built a large brand value out of my name over some 17 years."
In an attachment to the court papers, Annexure 'B', his salary is revealed.
"A package fee of R356 000... for the duration of 1 February 2015 to 30 November 2015 for the work as described..."
"Radio and press interviews, and photo shoots to build the profile as the programme judge to be done at no charge by the judge at no charge to M-Net," he adds.