By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Former David Jones CEO Mark McInnes will return to Australia with his partner, Lisa, to defend allegations brought against him by former DJs publicist Kristy Fraser-Kirk.

In a statement to the media today, McInnes reiterated his apology for behaving in a manner unbecoming of a chief executive officer, but did not specifically apologise for, or deny, and individual claims against him.

“I reject many of the recent specific allegations and legally I have no alternative other than to vigorously contest them and I will,” McInnes said in a statement.

On Monday this week, Fraser-Kirk spoke to media shortly after filing a claim in the Federal Court against McInnes, new CEO Paul Zahra, the current David Jones board and David Jones Limited. Fraser-Kirk is seeking $37 million in damages.

At the time that allegations of sexual misconduct first surfaced, McInnes immediately resigned from his position. It was widely reported that he received a golden handshake of approximately $2 million. Since his resignation, McInnes and his partner have been overseas.

“My partner Lisa and I will be returning to Australia shortly to allow me to begin working with my legal team. I ask that people allow the legal process to run its course.”

Yesterday at the launch of David Jones’ spring fashion collection, designer Allanah Hill was quoted on Channel Nine saying that she wished McInnes had sexually harassed her. She later apologised for this comment.