Brilliant Lies (1996) - full transcript

Susy Conner accuses former employer, Gary Fitzgerald, of harassment and unfair dismissal for failing to comply with his sexual demands. Relating the incident to conciliation lawyer, Marion Lee, Susy comments that the trauma experienced should entitle her to a compensation payment of $40,000.00.

(light music)

(bright music)

- [Marion] Can you give me examples?

- Of the harassment?

Sure.

(tense music)

(paper crumples)

It went on from the moment I arrived.

But if you want the highlight.

It was the night I was asked to stay back,

just before I was fired.



He's watching me.

I can feel his eyes all over me.

He gets up, he throws a
piece of paper into the bin.

Like he's some hotshot basketballer.

- And then what happened?

- [Susy] We're the only
two left in the building.

He comes up behind me and says

this is boring.
- This is boring.

- Let's talk sex.

Gary's not subtle.

- What did you say?

- I said you been talking sex to me Gary

for the last seven months.

I don't find it titillating
and I don't find it amusing



so please stop.

And then he says

do you want to keep your job here?

I said yes.

(dramatic music)
(unzipping)

There's no prizes for
guessing what happened next.

- Unfortunately I do need
to know what happened next

with as much precise
detail as you can remember.

- I was sitting at my computer

and he came up behind me.

I concentrated as hard
as I could on the screen.

And then suddenly I felt
two hands on my breasts

and he said something sick making like

the twin peaks of womanhood.

Soft, sweet, seductive.

Stop it!

I froze and when I turned around--

(unzipping)

His penis was inches in front of my nose.

(breathing heavily)

I went to Vince, Vince owns the business

and I told him what had happened.

He called Gary in, he
asked him if it was true,

Gary denied everything.

Then Vince sent me out, I
could hear them arguing.

Then Vince called me back in and fired me.

I think Vince knows what a sleaze Gary is,

it's just he depends so heavily
on him he had no choice.

- Now before this
incident, Gary talked sex

over the interoffice phone.

- My desk was just outside his office

so sometimes the phone
would ring and I would think

it was an outside call.
(phone ringing)

Life Choice Options, can I help you?

I'd pick it up and it was him

and some vile fantasy or another.

- Fantasy?

- Which position he was screwing me in,

how he was doing it.

I was usually so shocked he
got two or three seconds in

before I could hang up on him.

And these fantasies just
got progressively worse.

- Well why didn't you go
to, uh, Vince earlier?

- I just thought Gary was
pathetic and I should be able

to cope with it myself.

- You didn't talk about it to
any of the other women there?

- There were only three and
they weren't exactly friendly.

- Why not?

- I don't know, maybe they
(sighs)

resented the fact that
I wear decent clothes,

that I had a decent education?

- Decent?

- I don't know.

I went to a private school.

I mean it makes absolutely
no difference to me.

But it did to them.

- Did you go on to university?

- I went for a term.

Couldn't stand it so I went to Europe.

I lived in France and Italy for two years.

Then Dad went broke and
that was the end of that.

- So you came back here and got this job.

- Oh, I couldn't get a
job for about three years.

Is it okay if I smoke?

- We'd prefer you didn't I'm afraid.

So who supported you for those three years

after you got back from Europe?

- Men.

I fooled myself I was having a series

of deep and meaningfuls.

The truth is I was
passed from hand to hand

around the half dozen
or so wealthy unmarried

heterosexual men left in the city.

Three years on I found
myself back where I started.

So I did a word processing course.

Finally after dozens of
interviews I got a job.

- Not the sort of job
you were hoping to get.

- A firm of shonky insurance brokers

called Life Choice Options
was definitely not where

I wanted to position myself in life.

- Now your letter said that
you were an assistant manager.

- I assisted the manager.

- Tell me a bit more about Gary.

- He did accountancy, management
at some minor college.

He drives a cheap Porsche,
he married above himself.

He obviously doesn't get enough sex.

He has about as much style
and panache as a gorilla

but he thinks he's Mel Gibson

with a dash of Rupert Murdoch.

(laughs)

So where do I stand?

- Well in terms of the
legislation you do have grounds

to lodge a case of harassment
and wrongful dismissal.

- So we go to court?

- No, it's a public hearing.

But if you take that
option, the difficulty

is going to be to prove your case.

- So it's basically my
word against theirs.

- Yes.

- I did tell my sister Kate about this.

Right from the start.

We rent a place together.

- She'd be prepared to back you up?

- Well she saw how upset it was making me.

I read somewhere that some
woman got 40,000 the other day.

- Well that was very severe harassment.

She had proof.

- The reason we dismissed
her was because we found

her work unsatisfactory.

- Susy claims she was sexually harassed.

- Well she wasn't.

- Did she tell you this story
about Gary exposing himself?

- She said Gary had fondled her breasts

and invited her to perform fellatio yes

and this was the
culmination of seven months

of severe phone harassment.

- It's absolute rubbish,
it's absolute nonsense.

- Look, the truth is that she
would come to work with...

Everything for show.
- Boobs popping

right out of her dress.

(laughing)

- Dresses up to here.

Blatant!

- What made you hire such a person?

- Well that was Gary's decision.

- I thought she had potential.
- Potential?

- Work potential.

- Right.

- But she spent so much time on the phone

organizing her social life no
one else could get through.

- Some mornings she'd arrive
looking like she'd come

straight from an all night drug party.

She actually admitted to one
of the women in the office

that she took drugs.

- Ecstasy, she went to an ecstasy party.

- And had sex.

Now she told this to a
married woman who was shocked!

- Yes, as a married woman sex and ecstasy

do seem a startling combination.

- She fell asleep at her desk.

- You kept her on for seven months?

- Well we kept hoping she'd, uh...

She had potential.

- Course, potential.

Playing the devil's advocate
here, just for a minute,

see I'm finding it very hard to understand

how a girl whose only
activity while she was

employed by you was either
to sleep at her desk

or phone her friends
lasted for seven months.

- Well, maybe we're painting her a little

blacker than she was.

She did brighten the place up.

And she could knock out a
decent letter if she had to.

- So how did you address
this problem with her?

- Well, finally I realized
that something had to be said.

(laughing)
(suspenseful music)

You know, give her some sort of warning.

So that night I got up
and went out to her,

trying to work out, you know,
the best way to tackle it.

I mean she always thought
that she was too good for us.

- [Marion] Too good for you?

- She always wanted to work in something

more trendy than insurance.

- So how did you tackle it?

- I decided to start by
giving her a compliment.

You know, positive reinforcement.

That's coming on quite nicely.

- I phoned the girl who Susy replaced.

Uh, let me see, Rhonda Gibbs.

Gary, Rhonda told me you made
frequent sexual innuendos

in front of her and that
was one of the reasons

that she left the job.

- I told her a couple of jokes.

I mean I thought that women
wanted to be treated equally.

You can't even pay a
woman a compliment anymore

or you're being politically incorrect.

- Is this compulsory, this conference?

- If you choose to you
can refuse conciliation

and the case will go
straight to a legally binding

public hearing, but I would
have thought there were reasons

you wouldn't want it to go that far.

- This is the punchline, huh?

Pay up or get your name in the papers.

- Press tend to find this
sort of case newsworthy.

- Great choice.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Who needs proof anymore?

The truth doesn't matter
when lies'll get you

the same result.

- With only two people present
there really is no such thing

as verifiable truth,
but it is my job to try

and make this process as fair
as possible for both sides.

Do you want to try conciliation?

- What other choice have we got?

(soft jazzy music)

- Dad is very upset.

Dad is very upset.

Very upset.

Very upset.

Dad is very upset.

(scoffs)
- About what?

- [Paul] About you losing your job.

I mean heaven only knows what he'll think

when he finds out about Susy.

- I've got a job!

- Oh yeah, qualified architect
driving a taxi, great.

- Oh well.

Dad hasn't been a shining
success himself lately.

- [Paul] What are your plans, Susy?

- I'm taking them to court
and they're going to have

to pay a lot of money.

- Unfair dismissal, I reckon you'll get

a couple thousand at the most.

- Unfair dismissal plus
sexual harassment, Paul.

- Sexual harassment?

- What's so strange about that?

- Well for someone as...

- Someone as what?

- Well, you're not exactly chaste!

- Oh Paul.

- Well so what happened exactly?

- Exactly?

Well my boss would make at
least one phone call a day

suggesting things like
I come into his office,

take off my clothes, and suck his dick.

- Well these things only
happen if they're encouraged.

- Hey!

- [Paul] Well the clothes
you wear, the short dresses.

I mean what kind of
signals does that send?

- What women are only--
- You think women should

dress like Muslims, Paul,
covered from head to toe?

- No one ever rings up Rachel at her work

and suggests things like
that and maybe it's because

she doesn't wear dresses with her breasts

almost popping out!

- Rachel hasn't got any breasts.

- Nice ass though.
- Nice ass.

- Look, there was a
purpose for my visit today

but if all you're gonna
do is hurl insults at me

and the woman I intend to marry--

(laughing)

Oh yeah well I know our
heterosexual marriage

wouldn't exactly appeal to you Katy so--

- Oh Jesus Paul!

- I guess I'd better go.

- Oh look, come on, I'm sorry.

It's just sometimes you're so intense.

- Well, Dad is very
upset and yeah, so am I,

especially now that Susy's lost her job.

- [Susy] Paul, I'm fine.

I'm gonna get 40,000 bucks.

- [Paul] 40,000?

- Yeah.

- Harassment's just one
step down from rape, Paul.

Some women are so badly traumatized by it

they need psychiatric help

just to get them functioning again.

- So what are you gonna
do with your $40,000?

- Start up a business.

- [Paul] What kind of business?

- A cafe.

Italian style, great
food, all Italian waiters.

- You can't even add
up a column of figures!

- Kate is gonna be my partner Paul

and she's gonna design it.

- Yeah, so tell Dad he needn't worry,

not that he'd ever care.

- Why do you always say he doesn't care?

- Face it Paul, he's a drunk.

- You weren't so down on
him when he was sending you

to top private schools
or expensive holidays

or off to Europe for
two years with your own

gold American Express card.

I didn't hear much criticism
of him in those days.

Look, I'm not trying to be
heavy and Christian about this

but Dad is a terribly sad guy right now

and when I spoke to him the
other night I felt really bad

and I remembered all the
good things he'd done for us.

Some guys I went to school
with never even saw their dad.

Who picked you two up after dances

and watched you play net ball?

Oh we all know his faults,
sure, but there's a lot

of love there too, you know?

It's his 63rd birthday
coming up next week.

Do you know what'd really thrill him?

- A blowsy tart and a
bottle of Johnny Walker.

Alright, I'm sorry.

Yes, he was affectionate.

Yes, he did things for us.

And he made us put up with a succession

of his hideous girlfriends,
most of whom were invariably

drunker than he was!

- The first of which
arrived on our doorstep

two weeks after Mum died, Paul.

- [Katy] Oh they were there before that,

he just didn't bring them home til then.

- How do you know that?

- I heard them arguing about it once.

Mum was crying and do
you know what he said

when he realized he
couldn't squirm out of it?

He said it didn't mean
anything and it was just

that he had a lot of love to give.

- God he could be pathetic.

- It wasn't just the women that upset Mum.

It was his lies, big lies, little lies.

Got to the point where I don't
think she'd believe anything

he ever said.

- Okay, we all know his faults.

- Yes.

What do you want us to do?

- Do you know what'd thrill him?

If you guys invited him here
to dinner for his birthday

on Friday week.

He told me he never even
seen where you lived.

Now you've never invited
him and he's too...

Too proud to ask.

- Alright, fine.

Will Rachel come?

- Oh no she can't make it that night.

- Oh of course we can't ask Rachel

to break bread with a lesbian.

- Her committee meets Friday nights.

- Lawyers for Christ.

Do they get a quorum?

- The Christian Lawyers
Fellowship, thanks very much.

They have 180 members.

- Thanking God for converting.

(laughing)

- I saw him smile.

- Well just because you believe in God

doesn't mean you can't
have a sense of humor.

(laughing)

- I gotta go.

I gotta get dressed.

- Party, eh?

- I'm meeting friends.

I'll see you Friday.

- Katy.

I just want to say that
well just because I have

certain reservations about your lifestyle,

it doesn't mean I don't
care about you or Susy.

- I know.

And we care about you and Dad.

- I mean I know it's not
very sexy in your eyes

being involved in floor
coverings but I'm already

the second largest wholesaler

of sea grass matting in the state.

- Well done, mate.

- Oh thank you.

And I know you don't
mean it, but thank you.

Does Susy really think

she's gonna rip 40,000 off her employer?

- I believe her story, Paul.

I believe she was unfairly
dismissed and she was harassed.

- $40,000 worth?

(sirens wailing)

- Vince and Gary both seem
to feel your work performance

wasn't good.
- That's rubbish.

- You were efficient?

- I was as efficient as I needed to be.

Okay all I had to do was answer the phone,

type out a few letters, and
enter stuff on the spreadsheet.

- You didn't spend a lot of
time making personal calls,

falling asleep at your desk,
boasting about drug parties

to married women?

- Drugs, what drugs?

- Ecstasy.

- I knew I shouldn't have
told that mousy little suck.

I took ecstasy once, okay?

It did nothing for me and it
is none of their business.

- Vince did admit you
did brighten the place up

and you could write a good letter.

- I was fired because I
would not go down on Gary,

end of story.

They humiliated me and
I want compensation.

- I've scheduled a conference with them

for Thursday at three.

Is that okay?

- That's fine by me.

- Can your sister come too?

- Do we need her?

- She's the only one who
can corroborate your story.

- I'll ask her.
- Good.

(light music)

- No one'll believe her.

- Oh, there's a large
percentage of the population

will be delighted to believe her.

According to the bloody
feminists we're all rapists.

Some of us just haven't
gotten around to doing it yet.

- Come on Gary, no woman I know believes

in all that feminist crap.

- Read the papers, mate.

- But you didn't do it.

- Who said that life was fair?

- It's outrageous.
- It's the '90s.

You don't need evidence anymore,

you just have to be able to lie.

We're white wealthy males.

Forget about the fact that
my parents were dirt poor.

That I went to a lousy school.

That I worked as a barman
and studied til two o'clock

in the morning to get my diploma.

Forget all that.

I'm a white middle class
male so I had it easy.

So I'm fair game.

If this goes to court, Vince,

the press'll be onto it immediately.

- Stephanie'll be devastated.

- My wife is never devastated,
that's far too passive.

It's always somewhere between
cold fury and blind rage.

We've gotta settle.

- Stephanie'll be upset but I don't think

she'll believe the allegations.

- Oh yes she would.

I've never given Stephanie
any cause to doubt me

from the start of our
marriage and she still thinks

that I'm capable of
having sex with just about

any kind of animal you care to name.

- Gary, I think you'll find
that Stephanie trusts you

a lot more than you think.

- Vince.

Can we talk straight?

You keep telling me that
nobody's gonna believe it,

but it took me half an
hour to convince you!

- You haven't always
treated the girls we employ

very well, Gary.

- What exactly are we talking about?

Rhonda?

- Yeah, I overheard a few things.

- A few compliments.

Look if Rhonda's so
flaky she wants to leave

because of a few compliments,
that's her problem.

- Yeah well let's not
go into all this again.

- Whatever the settlement is
I expect the firm to cover me.

- Well how much will they want?

- A lot.

- Five grand?

- They're gonna laugh at that, Vince.

You owe me.

I've kept this business from going under.

- I've been around here too, Gary.

- I can't pay what they're gonna want.

- Well let's find out
how much they do want.

- It's gonna be more than
5,000, I can tell you that.

- Jerry said he saw you having lunch

with a couple of merchant
bankers on Tuesday.

- Couple of college friends, Vince.

- Hmm, I thought so.

- I expect the firm to cover me, Vince.

- Well when you've been
married to a woman for 12 years

you just don't sit down
at the breakfast table

and say, "Pass the
sugar, I want a divorce."

This isn't like you, Fran.

You were always such a good
sport, such fun to be with.

- A funny thing happened to
me at the office party today.

I ran into your secretary, Miss Olsen.

Let me see, there was Miss Olsen

and then there was Miss
Rossi, no, no she came before.

Miss Koch came after Miss Olsen.

- No Fran--

- And just think.

Right now some lucky girl in the building

is gonna come after me.

- Well I have a present for you.

I didn't quite know what to get you.

Besides it's kind of
awkward for me shopping

so here's $100, you go and
buy yourself something.

They have some nice
aligator bags at Bergdorf's

- Shh!

- You could have at least done the dishes.

What is this new routine?

No work so you sleep in til midday?

- What are you doing home so early?

- I had a job in the area so
I thought I'd just come by,

have a coffee, you know,
maybe hear a few words

of appreciation like gee
Katy, you look so tired,

thanks for working 12 hours
a day to keep us both alive.

- Gee Katy, you look tired.

Thank you for working--

- Why do you wear my pajamas?

And have the audacity to
look so much better in them

than I do?

- Because I'm a sex goddess.

If I'd been born in America
I'd be Madonna by now.

- We could do with the money.

It's already Friday, I've
made less than 150 bucks.

So how'd your meeting go?

- Good.

She thinks I've got a great
case for the compensation.

- I should think so.

- She wants you to come to the conference.

- Why do I have to be there?

- Because you saw how much
trauma Gary was causing me.

- No I didn't.

- Because you're my only
corroborating witness.

- Shit Susy, you want me to lie?

- I was distressed, Kate.

- Why didn't you tell me?

You know, if it was
going on for seven months

why didn't you tell me?

- 'Cause I just thought he was stupid.

I was ashamed that I couldn't handle it.

- Right, so tell me what
I'm supposed to remember.

- How I'd come home in
tears, go to my room crying.

That sort of thing.

- Well why didn't I ring
him up and blast him, eh?

Lesbian feminists are
supposed to do those things,

not to mention older sisters.

- Yeah yeah, well they don't
know you're a feminist lesbian

and I would appreciate it if
you'd do everything in your

power to conceal that fact.

- Alright so you want
me to lie at all levels.

- Well certainly at that one.

- Well I hope you're going to
do your share of the cooking

for our father's birthday dinner.

- When is it?

- Try tonight.

- Did you buy him a present?

- Yes.

- Is it expensive enough
that it could have been

from both of us?

- It's a tie.

- It is Sarah's party tonight you know.

- No way Susy, you're
staying home and entertaining

your father and you are helping me cook.

Now go and buy a fucking present.

- Can you lend me some money?

(scoffs)

- Mate, you're gonna
have to get 40,000 bucks

just to pay back what you owe.

And I want change.

Oh, and better get another cask of red.

I've got some Wolfblas
bottles we can decant it into.

Dad's tastebuds gave out year ago.

- Wolfblas gray label, it gets
better and better and better,

the man's a genius.

He's done more for the
Australian wine industry

than any other man, bloody genius.

- I think it's very disappointing.

I've tasted better wine
than this in casks.

- Paul you're such a bloody knoll.

- Well if you don't want me
to have an opinion I won't.

- It's a bloody good wine, your
sister spent a lot of money!

Why are you so hypercritical?

- I'm entitled to my opinion.

- Well your opinion's usually
worth shit so shut up.

(laughing)

- Oh fine.

- No no no, you're a good
kid, I love you just as much

as your sisters but sometimes
you're bloody irritating.

- Fine.

- I want to say something to all of you.

(clears throat)

This dinner tonight

means more to me than you could
possibly, possibly imagine.

Do you know I once had the lot?

More money than I knew what to do with.

Loving wife.

Wonderful kids.

Then fate intervened.

Took your mother in the
cruelest possible way.

We watched her fade away,
and die in appalling pain.

If I'd been a stronger, better person

I would have gained
strength from this loss

but instead I sank into
a morass of self pity.

Self-indulgence.

I slept with women who
weren't a tenth the person

your mother was, you know?

I drank.

And I did what no salesman should ever do.

I started to believe my own bullshit.

I started to believe that
I could predict the trends

on the property market a
year before they happened.

(urinating)

The crash came a year
before I thought it would.

Now I'm bankrupt.

Barred from practicing my trade.

Living in a empty flat.

I've only got meself to blame.

You guys are all I've got left.

Sometimes I think I've even lost you.

- You haven't.

- If I did Paul I'd shoot myself.

I would, I'd shoot myself.

'Cause you guys are all I've
got left, you see, all, all.

I know you're mad at me.

You got every right to be.

I mean I should have had
millions to leave you.

Millions.

23 million on paper at one stage.

- 23 million?

- Now I'm a penniless drunk,

I know you're mad at me for that.

- 23 million?

- 23 million.

Bloody amazing isn't it,
when you think about it?

Kid who had to wear
shoes with holes in 'em

because his parents
couldn't afford any more.

23 million.

- You blew 23 million?

- 23 million, yep.

- Dad, you're a fucking idiot.

- [Paul] Susy, language!

- Well he is, he's an idiot!

- I know you're mad at me,
you've got every right to be.

- Dad, I've gotta go out.

Girlfriend of mine is
having an engagement party.

- Susy.
- Shut up Katy.

- Let her go, let her.

- Happy birthday.

He's a fucking idiot.

- Don't be such a bitch!

- Well that is absolutely typical.

- [Katy] Oh Paul, shut up.

- I can understand it.

It's not the money.

It just would have protected
her from indignities

like having to work for that
slime who propositioned her.

She's better than that.

- Why is she better than that?

We all have to work for a living.

The only profession that
pays money for a pretty face

is prostitution.

- Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul
some people have a quality

of magic about them.

You can't say why but she's got it.

She'll do something that'll
surprise us all one day.

- Magic?

- Katy, Katy.

Your magic is your creativity.

Those designs you did?

Breathtaking.

- Mm, so breathtaking I
was the first laid off

when my firm made cuts.

- Yes, well maybe there
were other reasons.

- Of course there were other reasons, Dad.

It's an almost totally all male firm

and they found out I was a dyke?

- Katy, I've got to say this.

I'll be failing as a father if I didn't.

I do happen to think you
have taken a wrong turn.

Do you see Katy men are men.

And women are women.

For a purpose.

- Oh god.

- No, no hear me out Katy, hear me out.

I do think there is a profound magic

in that indefinable and
mysterious difference

between man and woman.

A mystery that kept me
tantalized and intrigued

by your mother til her dying day.

(laughs)

- Dad, sometimes you talk such shit

I can't stand it anymore!

You were out screwing
drunken sluts for years

while Mum was still
alive, it drove her crazy.

- That to me is one of
the deepest mysteries.

I mean, how could a man who loved a woman

as I loved your mother do that?

It's a question I keep asking meself

every day of me life.

- Yeah well you know the
question I'm still asking myself

Dad, birthday and all--
- Katy, don't.

- Is what kind of temporary insanity

caused our mother to marry you?

- [Paul] Katy!

- Did you have charisma once?

After the wedding did a
horse kick you in the head?

If she had to go and get
herself married, why to you?

- You're right, you're right!

There were much better men
than I was chasing her, why me?

Again you see it's one of
those profound mysteries

in the dance of the sexes.

The dance, Katy, I'm really really sad

you are going to miss.

- If the dance of the
sexes mean I might end up

with a partner like you
mate I'm glad I sat it out.

- Shall I just accept the fact
that she sleeps with women,

say nothing?

- If you ask me all this
gayness is nothing more

than a fashionable pose, an easy way out.

- Absolutely.

Male and female drifting alien continents.

A relationship with the
opposite sex is difficult, yes,

but ultimately far more rewarding.

Thank god Susy stayed straight, eh?

- Straight?

Promiscuous would be more accurate.

- She'll surprise us all one day.

- If she manages to rip
40,000 off her employer

I'll be surprised.

I think it's outrageous!

- Well you don't know what happened, Paul.

- I've had to work my
guts out for every dollar

I've ever earned.

She finally gets a few months' work

and tries to rip the system off.

I mean aren't you a little bit outraged?

- Don't be so judgmental!

- I'm judgmental and I'm
a knoll, anything else

you'd like to call me?

- You're a good kid, you're
making something of your life.

We've all got faults.

- Can't fathom you, Dad.
- What have I done?

- I had to organize
tonight, you know, I mean

I had to drag them kicking
and screaming to get them

to invite you over.

You're big enough to admit
that you blew it financially

and then Susy walks out.

You're honest enough to
tell Katy you don't approve

of her gayness and she storms out

yet I'm judgmental and I'm a knoll.

- Fathers and daughters, it's
always a bit of a thing there.

- So you admit it, they do come first.

- Ah Jesus Paul!

- Don't use that word.
- What?

- Jesus.
- Jesus!

You know what the most
disappointing thing in my life is?

That you became a bloody Christian

and you met up with that,
that what's her name.

- Rachel?
- Rachel.

You're so smug and self-satisfied.

- We do so choose to believe.

- We do so choose to believe.

Ah son there is no God.

- How can you say that?

- Because if there was
he'd be bright enough

not to recruit the two of you.

(thunder rumbling)
(rain falling)

How can anyone believe that
this appalling, bruisy,

humiliating scape of interpersonal warfare

we laughingly call life is
assigned by some all-loving

father shit?

- Well I have to believe in something.

I mean perhaps God just
like the force that created

the Big Bang but I mean
there has to be some order

or some purpose, otherwise
what's the bloody point?

- I'm sorry son, I'm sorry.

It's me who's being the
judgmental old bastard.

If it helps you to believe, believe.

Don't listen to worn out old sods like me

who've got one foot in the grave.

- Have you been to see the doctor yet?

- I'm fine!
- Well no you're not!

If you're getting chest pains
every time you exert yourself

the chances are you've got heart trouble.

- Ah well if I die, I die, what the hell?

- You want me to come in?
- Why?

I'm fine!

- Well you got Monday, alright?

- Yes yes yes yes okay.

- Well, goodnight Dad.

- Goodnight son.

- Can I just say at the
outset that we are--

- Uh, no, please could you sit down?

- Both very upset at being
dragged in here like criminals.

Gary and I are men of substantial standing

in the business world--
- Substantial standing?

- [Vince] What?

- What are you trying to
say, that two important men

like you find it beneath your dignity

to be called to account
for a minor little thing

like seven months of
vicious sexual persecution?

- Vicious sexual persecution?

- We don't think it's right,

but unsubstantiated allegations--

- Hey.

They're not unsubstantiated.

I'm substantiating them.

- Listen sweetheart,
without sexual attraction

the human race wouldn't have survived.

The death of sex means the
death of mankind for christsake!

- I'm not saying you
shouldn't have impulses,

I'm saying you should be
mature enough to control them

and don't call me sweetheart.

- I took a totally normal
interest in an attractive woman

and suddenly I'm a criminal!

- After thousands of years
of abuse males are finally

being held accountable
and you don't like it!

Well let me tell you something buster.

The days of automatic female
deference to male power

are over and you just
better get used to it.

- So I'm supposed to be the
fall guy for what you call

thousands of years of abuse, am I?

Great.

And to think we used to say
that women were irrational.

And don't call me buster.

- This was to be an attempt
at conciliating the problem

but if you prefer you're
at liberty to take this

to a public hearing.

- Look, I'm sorry Marion, I really am.

- So am I.

We would like this settled

and we would like to settle it here.

- Alright.

Let's start again.

Susy, you claim that Gary made phone calls

of a sexual nature over seven months

which you found distressing?

- Extremely distressing.
(clears throat)

- [Marion] Given his behavior,

why did you agree to work back with him

on the night of the alleged incident?

(tense music)

- Well we had to get the
new spreadsheet working

and he'd said he was sorry.

I didn't believe him but I
knew if he tried anything

I could at least do a,
but Gary, you promised.

- Why didn't you go to Vince before this

if it was so upsetting?

- Well I like to think that I can handle

my own problems myself.

- [Marion] But you did tell your sister.

- [Susy] Which I normally don't.

Which is some indication
of how upset I was.

(crying)

- [Marion] And Susy indicated
to you how upsetting

these phone calls were?

- [Katy] Um yeah, which
is unusual for Susy.

We're close in some ways but she does tend

to keep her problems
and worries to herself.

- Can I ask a question?

- Yes, of course.

- Thank you very much.

Katy it's obvious that you're a feminist.

- Do you always spit
when you say that word?

- Well would a strong feminist
whose sister came home crying

with tales of brutal sexual exploitation

just say okay, put up with it,
it'll stop sooner or later?

- Kate wanted to go down
there and rip the place apart.

I had to beg her to stop, didn't I?

I mean I wanted to last a year at this job

just to show I could stick it out.

- Katy?

- Yeah, I was very angry.

But with the job market the way it is

I could see Susy's point.

- Well according to my
notes, Susy claims that Gary

grabbed her breasts from behind and said

the twin peaks of womanhood,
soft, sweet, seductive.

Then you turned to see Gary's penis.

(scoffing)

- [Gary] Oh Susy that's
bullshit, you know it is.

- That's exactly what happened.

- It is utter, utter bullshit.

- Alright, what did happen?

- Just what I told you.

- Well, let me see.

You decided to give Susy a warning.

You were considering the
best way to broach it.

- Right.

(laughing)

And then I went out to talk to her.

- [Marion] And then how would
you describe your demeanor?

- Well I was concerned.

It's always tough when you've
got to discipline an employee.

- Right.

So concerned you're
shooting three pointers

into your wastepaper basket.

- What do you mean?

- Susy said you threw a piece
of paper over your shoulder

like a basketballer.

- I was reading a letter!
(laughing)

I got up, I threw it in the bin.

What are we arguing about here?

- [Marion] Alright, so you
went up to speak to her

and what did you say?

(tense music)

- I didn't get a chance to say anything.

- How come?

- 'Cause she jumps up and
says stuff this, it's boring,

I've got a party to get to.

And I said to her that occasionally

she had to be prepared to work back.

- Oh Gary, it's after seven
o'clock, I've been working

on this all afternoon.

- You know if you hadn't been on the phone

for the last half an hour chatting--

- That was a business call!

- [Gary] And it developed
into a shouting match.

- Don't touch me!

- And she ran out the door.

I mean she obviously
realized she was finished

at Life Options so she
went away and hatched

this bullshit story to
screw money out of us.

- And she's not going to get away with it.

- You are lying Gary and you know you are.

- How did she describe
the incident to you?

How did she describe the
incident to you, Katy?

- Oh, exactly like she told you.

- What, he grabbed her breasts and said

the twin peaks of woman--
- Yes, all that.

- She's lying too.

- I'm not.

- [Marion] Please, accusation
and counter accusation

is not going to get us very far.

- Where is there to get?

It's her word against
mine, and she's lying.

- No I'm not.

- Let's stop all this crap
and start being realistic.

I'm in a no-win situation.

If this goes to court I
lose out even if we win.

There'll be jokes behind my
back for the rest of my life,

my wife and kids will suffer.

If I want to preserve my
reputation, I have to pay money.

- No one wants you to pay money
if the charges are untrue.

- Well how in the hell
are we gonna prove it

one way or the other?

It was just the two of us there

and she can say whatever she likes!

This all comes down to who
the jury likes the most

and we all know that the
man is always the villain.

The system stinks!

Let's be totally realistic here, Marion.

The system is stacked against me.

Now I'm incredibly angry about that,

but I'm also a realist.

If we can pay her her
blood money and settle this

right here and now, then I'm
rational enough to realize

that it's in my best
interest to do it that way.

How much cash are we talking about?

- $40,000.

- That's insane!

- It's a high figure but these complaints

have been settled for amount--

- Marion, why is that a high figure?

I mean some football hero got $350,000

'cause a magazine photographed his dick.

- $40,000 is insane.

- It's on the high side
but there are precedents.

- It's what I want or we go to court.

- This is coming out of my pocket, Susy.

The firm can't pay, it's in debt.

It's coming out of my pocket!

- [Susy] So it should!

You're the one who did it.

- Would it mean anything
to you that I've got

two small children, a mortgage
you couldn't jump over,

and cash reserves of
exactly $2,000 in the bank?

- That's not my problem.

- Well there's no way that you
are getting this out of me.

- Fine, let's go to court,
see what the judge thinks.

- You've just blown it, honey.

- Don't call me honey.

- I was prepared to play ball

but not to the tune of $40,000.

- Suit yourself.

- You can rob me, but not 40.

And listen honey.

Don't think just because you
got the bloody sisterhood

on your side that you can take

Gary Fitzgerald to the cleaners!

I've been threatened by
experts and I tell you what.

No feminist mafia is gonna put it over me!

- Gary, I can't tolerate this.

- $40,000 or we go to court.

- This is outrageous, surely you can see

that this is outrageous.

- Vince, you know what he's like.

- 10 and that's it!

- 40.

- We can make this a lot
tougher for you in court

than you think.

Drugs, parties, you will
not come out looking good,

believe me.
- No, these kind of threats

are really counterproductive.

- Counterproductive?

They're disgusting!

I mean what the hell has her partygoing

got to do with anything?

And you, you think that
because she's had sex

with more than one man
she's available to anyone,

even someone she despises?

- I think the best thing
we can do at this stage

is call a halt now and let us all go away

and think about this.

- Great.

- Fine, you can think
about it all you like

but I'm not shifting one dollar.

You poisoned every day of
my life for seven months

and if it hurts you financially, tough!

You deserve it.

- You think I'm just some
nothing that you can squash?

Well you're gonna find out
that you are very, very wrong!

- This is very, very counterproductive.

Can we just stop now,
stop totally, say nothing?

Just file out the door
separately and don't say

anything more please.

I'll schedule another
conference for next Tuesday.

If I need further
clarification before then

I'll contact you.

Please Susy.

(cork pops)

- We've got 'em.

- Yeah.

- I mean we may have to
come down a little from 40,

but basically they know they're stuffed.

I mean Gary knows he's trapped.

Kate, if we make a go of this cafe thing,

we're never gonna have to
put up with shit like that

ever again.

What's wrong?

- Those words you used.

Where'd you get them from?

- What words?

- The twin peaks of womanhood,
soft, sweet, seductive.

- Gary, it's what he said.

- No he didn't.

- What are you calling me a liar?

(tense music)

- Gary didn't say that.

Dad did.

- You told me Dad never touched you.

- He did.

- You told me I was lying.

- Yeah I know, I'm sorry about that.

- How old were you?

- I don't really want to talk about it.

- How old were you?

- 13.

Same as you.

- What did he do?

- Um...same thing?

Started as a game in the backyard...

He'd end up grabbing my breasts.

And I would just freeze.

- Why didn't you scream?

- Because I was scared Mum would hear.

And I would have killed myself
rather than let her find out.

- [Susy] Did he do anything else?

- No.

No the grabbing was the worst.

- How many times did he do it?

- I lost count.

- And Paul beats us around the head

for not wanting him over for dinner?

Why did you tell me I was lying?

- I don't know.

I think part of me was
relieved it wasn't happening

to me anymore.

I'm sorry.

- It's okay.

Guess it was worse for you than me.

- So is the rest of the
stuff about Gary a lie too?

- I made up the bit about
the twin peaks, Kate.

But grabbing my breasts
and the rest of it?

Absolutely true.

(pensive music)

- Why do you think that she's lying?

- Well I can't say I particularly
like Gary but it seems

to me that your sister's
decided on a sum of money

and manufactured her story to match it.

Now I may be wrong but
I felt very strongly

I should voice my concerns
to you before tomorrow

so thank you for coming in.

- Yeah well sort of puts me
in an impossible situation.

- You get pretty good at
interpreting body language

in this job.

You looked very
uncomfortable when you had to

back up her story.

- Can we consider what
I'm about to say to you

totally confidential?

- I really don't think I can give you that

sort of guarantee.

It's up to you.

- I was lying.

Susy didn't tell me anything.

But that doesn't
necessarily mean she's lying

about the harassment.

She never tells me about
things that are worrying her,

she's not the confiding type.

- Do you think she's lying?

- I think she might be
exaggerating her story a bit,

but no, I don't think she would
make up something like this.

- Does she realize if
she pushes Gary too hard

he's just as likely to
take this to the tribunal?

- What about the publicity?

- Well he'd like to avoid the publicity

but if the alternative is $40,000.

- You think?
- Yeah.

Their lawyer'd make sure
that the board would hear

that she parties, that she takes drugs,

she sleeps at work.

I mean, I wouldn't like her chances.

She could end up with nothing.

- I'll talk to her.

- I think you should.

And thanks for being so truthful, Katy.

Doesn't happen enough these days.

- Well I think you're doing a fabulous job

and I'd hate to think that Susy was...

Yeah.

Anyway, I think you're
doing a fabulous job.

- Thank you!

- $5 closest to the pin.

- Yeah alright.

- Double or nothing hole.
- Yeah alright.

- So Vince, how much is the
firm willing to back me?

I need to know.

- Well.

Considering the financial
position of the firm.

- [Gary] How much?

- If it does go to the
tribunal you'll probably

get a tiny paragraph
in the afternoon paper.

- It'll be on 60 bloody Minutes, Vince.

It'll be disaster for me.

Stephanie and her bloody family--

- Gary, I think you
take far too much notice

of what Stephanie and her family think.

- There's another agenda here, Vince.

- What?

- You're refusing to pay
because you do believe her.

- I'm refusing to pay
because the firm is broke.

- You do believe her.
- I don't!

- You do or you wouldn't be prepared

to see me crucified in court!

- Gary, the public will be on your side.

The promiscuous drug taking party girl,

she'll be crucified, you'll win!

- You believe her,

and you're prepared to
throw me to the wolves.

- The firm will cover you for
10,000, I think that's fair.

- Let me tell you
something Vince, I don't!

You are throwing me to the wolves!

- There has to be some
truth in what she says.

- Oh now it comes out.

- Well there has to be,
considering the way you've treated

other women--

- A few jokes, a few compliments.

- Well I know you've had affairs

with at least two of our girls.

- They were willing, they wanted it.

Christ you're a fucking fossil, Vince.

They should carbon date you.

Most women love sex.

- Yeah?

So why do they all leave?

10,000 I think that is more than fair.

- Yeah well I don't.

I'm really pissed off.

- It's too much.

- It's what we need.

- You'll blow it Susy, it'll backfire.

- Come on Kate, don't do this.

It's for both of us.

- I told her I lied.

- You what?

- She spotted it, she knew I was lying.

- You didn't have to tell her!

Why the fuck would you
do a thing like that?

- She asked me, I had to, I'm sorry.

I told her I thought you
were telling the truth.

- [Susy] Great.

- I couldn't lie to her.

- The minute I saw that dyke I knew you'd

fall in love with her.

- Marion?
- Yeah Marion.

- She's not gay.

- Get new glasses, Kate.

She was eyeing you all
through that conference.

- Really?

(gentle music)

- You're such a loser Kate,

you can't even spot your own species.

Now she's gonna think I'm a total liar.

- I told her I thought you
were telling the truth.

- Yeah well I was telling the truth.

Gary was vile to me for seven months

and I hated every minute of it.

And he is gonna pay $40,000.

- Well Marion says he won't
pay, he'll go to court.

- Yeah well I know Gary
better than Marion does,

and he will do anything to hide this

from his wife and her family.

He's terrified of them.

- Susy, for god's sake,
you've got to be reasonable.

- What?

And live the rest of our lives like this?

No way.

- [Marion] The twin peaks
of womanhood, soft--

- [Susy] You can't even
spot your own species.

You're such a loser, Kate.

(overlapping voices)

- I'll be very interested to hear

what conclusions you've all come to

since the last meeting.

- Well, we have--

- Katy, would you sit?

- Gary and I have
considered your submission

and we're quite prepared
to settle for $10,000.

- [Susy] You're joking.

- It's our last and final offer.

- 10,000, you're joking.

- It's more than we ever intended to pay

and quite frankly we're
outraged at having to pay that.

- [Susy] You want this to go to court.

- [Vince] If it has to.

- Could you schedule the hearing
as soon as possible please?

- Okay, 10 of my own,
that's a total of 20.

- [Vince] Gary.

- I haven't got 10, I'm
gonna have to borrow it

so it's an absolute final offer.

And I can't tell you how angry
I am at having to do this.

To say that I think that this is criminal

is a gross understatement.

20,000, final offer.

- Could you schedule the hearing
as soon as possible please?

- Oh I can't believe this!

- Susy, you can't be serious.

$20,000, 10 of it straight
from Gary's own pocket.

- Susy, 20,000 is an
offer that I really think

is worth considering seriously.

- Well I'm sorry, I
don't think it's enough.

- It's a very generous offer, isn't it?

- It's within the range of
what I would consider fair.

- Marion, as I understand
this the negotiation

is between Gary and I.

- I'm just offering an opinion.

- Yeah well in my opinion
20,000 is not nearly enough

so let's go and see what
the tribunal thinks.

- I would have thought there were things

that you'd want to keep
out of the media too.

- Like what?

- Like your lifestyle.

(scoffs)

- I once took ecstasy, big deal.

- How much will you take?

- Gary, don't let her do this.

- How much will you take?

- I'll take $40,000.

- There is no way.

Can you understand that there is no way

that I could raise $40,000
even if I wanted to?

- What are your net assets, Gary?

Way above 40,000 I suspect.

- You want me to sell my house?

- If necessary.

People go to prison for what you did!

You're getting off lightly.

- She's crazy, she's insane.

- [Susy] Vince, you know what he's like.

- For god's sake Susy, be reasonable!

- When were you ever reasonable to me?

- I never did anything
to you and you know it.

How can you sit there and lie?

- [Susy] I'm not lying, you are.

- You bitch.

(dramatic music)

You vicious, lying, filthy little slut!

- [Marion] The conference is over!

- You're getting out of
it for less than 40 now.

- We'll take the 20.
- No we won't!

- Her sister knows it's bullshit!

She knows, you bitch!
- Gary!

- Susy, this conference is over!

- Alright, I'll take
$30,000 but that's it,

that's absolutely it.

- Give the bitch the money Vince.

- Gary, no!

- Give her the 30 so I don't have to see

her ugly face again!

- The conciliation is terminated.

- This is between me and him!
- Not here!

- Alright you put in 15, I put in 15.

(shouting)

- Wait a minute, wait, no wait!

Thanks.

Thanks a million, Marion.

Why the hell didn't you let him settle?

- There can't be a balanced settlement

under conditions like that.

- He wanted to pay, didn't you hear him?

He wanted to pay, why
would you pull the plug?

- Because quite frankly I don't think

we've got to the truth of it yet.

- What are you saying, I'm lying?

- We fought long and hard
for this sort of power.

I hate to see it being abused this way.

There are an awful lot of
women who really suffer,

who need this place.

- Well you listen to me Marion.

That guy was on the phone
to me every single day

for seven months, saying things
more degrading and hostile

than you're ever likely to hear

in your protected little life!

- Oh shut up, Susy.

- You have been lying about
the office incident though,

haven't you?

(elevator dings)

- Whose side are you on?

Both of you.

- She realize how
dangerous this is getting?

- Well I think she thinks she's gonna win.

Do you wanna go and get a coffee?

- Oh, have to be quick.

My husband's picking me up early.

- Oh.

- It's our wedding anniversary.

- Oh, congratulations.

Oh don't worry about it.

Excuse me.

I just have to go and kill someone.

- I saw a video of his angiogram.

Now I'm not a doctor which
you didn't have to be

to see what was going on.

- What's an angiogram?

- It's an x-ray of the heart pumping.

You see all the blood going
through the coronary arteries.

Now Dad's coronary arteries
are almost totally blocked.

- So what's the prognosis?

- He either gets a triple
bypass soon or he's dead.

- So, he gets a triple bypass.

- Sure, in 12 to 18 months,
that's the waiting list.

- Waiting list?

He's privately insured, isn't he?

- No.

- No?

- How could he be?

He's living on the pension.

- So what are his chances
of living the 12 months?

- His doctor said 50/50 but my feeling is

that he was being optimistic.

- And how much does this operation cost?

- 30,000.

- 30,000.

- It's open heart surgery.

- 30,000.

- I thought you were about to get 40,000.

- Oh no no no Paul, that's for me.

You're the one with all the money,

you're the one who's made
something of your life, remember?

- I'd help him if I could but I can't.

- What do you mean you can't?

Are you doing well or aren't you?

- I possibly will be, but not yet.

- Well according to you
Paul you've been carpeting

half the city for the last 10 years.

- Maybe in two or three years'
time I'll be in the clear

but it's a highly competitive area.

- You could raise 30,000
if you had to Paul.

- Susy I'm 120,000 in debt.

- In debt?

- What about your girlfriend?

She's a highly paid lawyer.

- She's already pumped
25,000 into the business.

She's kept me afloat.

I know what you think of
Rachel but if it wasn't for her

I'd be sleeping on a park bench.

- So how's he taking it?

- He's cracking hard but
underneath he's worried sick.

- He's 63 for christ sake.

If I drink half as much as
that man and live to be 63

I will think myself very, very lucky.

- So you'll just let him die?

- He won't die Paul.

You are such a drama queen,
you always have been.

- Okay, let him die.

(laughing)

- I'm sick of this shit,
I've gotta be somewhere.

- That's right, whenever something
difficult or hard to face

happens it's off to another party.

You are so gutless and shallow.

- And you are such a geek, Paul.

- Yeah, a geek too.

One day you're gonna have
to start judging things

beyond the surface.

- Jesus you're boring, Paul.

- And would you stop using that word?

Sometimes I could kill her.

- I've tried, she recovers.

So you're really that
much in debt, are you?

- Top of my year in
business school but out

in the real world I'm a joke.

- You're talking to a taxi driver.

- Oh I don't know, to survive
in the '90s you either

gotta be lucky, rich,
or be a brilliant liar.

I'd pay that money for Dad
if I had it, I really would.

- Yeah, I would too.

Dunno why.

(soft jazzy music)

- That bitch humiliated me.

She made me panic.

- I think we have to call her bluff.

- You don't have to do anything, Vince.

I have to call her bluff.

- Good.

- I've been behaving like
a coward on all fronts.

- I think your reaction
was quite understandable.

- No, it was gutless.

I've done what I should
have done weeks ago.

I've talked to Stephanie and her family.

They're right behind me.

And I talked to Steve Lovett
on the 19th hole yesterday.

- Lovett?

Good.

- With him representing
me at the tribunal,

she won't know what hit her.

She's gonna get nothing from me.

- I'm really glad.

- Nobody humiliates me like
that and gets away with it.

It's been a real turning
point for me, Vince.

Public will see it for what it is.

A blatant attempt to
extort money by a scheming,

amoral little bitch.

- I hope you understand why
I couldn't go higher than 10.

- Yeah, I understand alright.

You believed every word she said.

(tense music)

- That's not true.

- It was a real shock.

But it's freed me.

If that's what you think
of me, fuck you Vince.

Fuck you.

- Now just a minute.

You understand our financial
position better than anyone.

I just couldn't afford to
extend the firm any more.

- Yeah I understand this.

You believe her!

Fuck you!

- I've got good reason to believe her.

Good reason.

- Oh yeah?

What?

- One night when I left the
office, I got down to my car

and I thought I'd left something behind.

So I came back up.

When I was looking for
my key I heard something.

- [Gary] What did you hear?

- [Vince] And I could
see you on the intercom

and you were talking to Susy.

And she was pleading with you to stop.

- [Gary] Stop what?

- [Vince] Stop calling her?

I could make out what she was saying.

- [Gary] You couldn't have heard.

- I know how you treat
women around here, Gary.

You've done a good job.

I'd be the first to admit that.

But--
- You want me to get out?

Leave?

Is that the message?

- Yes Gary actually it is.

I think when all this is settled

it might be best if you moved on.

- Yeah well, I've got a little
bit of news for you Vince.

As of today I've got two
merchant banks backing

a buyout of this joint.

One condition.

I run it.

- Those merchant bankers
you were having lunch with?

I thought they were supposed
to be college friends.

- I lied.

Don't get pissed, Vince.

This place is ripe for a takeover.

These are hard times.

We've got to be much much
much more aggressive.

And you know and I know and they know

that you don't have
the guts to go in hard.

Now you can refuse to
sell, but if you do that

I'll leave and you'll go bankrupt.

- You know something Gary?

I'll be glad to go.

I've been ashamed of the
way this place is run

ever since you came.

- Well fuck you mate.

I'm the reason you survived.

- When I started this
firm it really did give

worthwhile advice to its clients.

- Yeah well I'm gonna give you more money

for this shitheap than anybody else will.

So if you get subpoenaed by the tribunal,

be very very careful what you say.

- Don't worry Gary.

Vengeance isn't my cup of tea.

- If we withdraw the
complaint we get nothing,

absolutely nothing.

Gary drives off in his
Porsche and we're stuck

between shifts in your taxi.

Great, but your conscience is clear.

- Look, he's going to court,
Gary is going to court.

I can't lie in court.

- Come on Kate, you can
lie when you want to.

What's worse, helping me
get some kind of justice

out of a sleaze like Gary, or lying

that Dad never touched you--
- Oh that's not fair.

- When you know very
well that I needed you.

- Come on.

- Come on Kate, be straight
for once in your life.

Deep down there's a little
bit of you that wants me

to miss out on this, on everything.

There always has been.

- That's not true, Susy.

It might have been when
we were younger, okay,

but it's not now.

I'm sorry, I just can't lie.

- You really fucked up, Kate.

We had a way out and you really fucked up.

(bagpipe music)

- We're born, we prosper,
we wither, and we die.

It's called the human condition.

- We're gonna raise the money, Dad.

- No you're not, the
government's gonna pay

for this operation, not you.

- What, in 12 to 18 months?

- Well I'll last that long.

God, I'm not that sick.

- I've spoken to your doctor,
I've seen your angiograms.

- Paul, Paul, Paul I
appreciate what you say

but I know the reality, I
know how much debt you're in.

And I know the girls haven't
got any cash to spare.

- Dad, I was supposed to get
some money from my employer

but as it turns out--

- Yes yes, Katy told me.

Shouldn't even feel obligated.

It's not as if I've been a great father.

Well don't all disagree.

- You've been terrific.

- Thank you girls.

- Paul said it for all of us.

- Thank you for letting Paul speak

on behalf of the great depth of warmth

you both feel for me.

It's the first time

you've let him speak for you in his life.

- Dad, you behaved like a shit.

Most of the time you behaved like a shit.

I'm sorry you're sick, but
I'm not gonna suddenly lie

that I think you're
wonderful and all that crap.

- I behave like a shit?

How many times did I have to
cover for you, young lady?

I had to go and beg your
headmistress not to expel you.

Not once, not twice, but three times!

When I got the medical verdict
I did have one quick moment

thinking ah, Susy's getting 40,000.

Maybe all isn't lost.

But I immediately came
to my senses and knew

there was no way Susy would give it to me.

Even if it did mean 10 years of life.

- She would have given it to you Dad.

- No I bloody well wouldn't have.

- Why?

- He knows.
- Susy shut up!

- If you'd offered I
wouldn't have taken it.

You've got a right to
a decent start in life.

I recognize that.

But I would like to think
you might have offered.

- The man's ill.

- Well he carries on with this act

of hurt and wounded dignity.

- I am hurt.

Deeply hurt to think that you
wouldn't even have offered.

I've spent three times that
amount on you in your life

young lady.

- Out of guilt.

- Guilt, guilt for what?

- You know.

- For being drunk so often,

having all those appalling women.

- Appalling?

Which ones were appalling?

- All of them.

- What about Gwen Mountjoy,
she was like a mother to you.

- Gwen Mountjoy couldn't
find her way to the kitchen

after five o'clock.

- None of them were as
good as your mother.

- Look Dad, we'll raise the money okay.

We'll go around to all
those acquaintances of yours

and screw something out of them.

But just don't bullshit
about being ready to die

if you're not.

- No one's ever quite ready to die.

- And stop putting on this wounded act

'cause we don't sit around
here fake adoring you.

There are good reasons for it
and you know what they are.

- Susy, just give it a rest will you?

- Someone should say.

- Say what?

- The truth.

- What truth?

- You know.

- What truth?

- Dad, just leave it.

Susy, please.

- No no no no.

Susy seems to have something to say.

Come on Susy, come on.

What is it you want to tell us?

- That you're a sleaze.
- Don't.

- He is.

- What are you saying, Susy?

- I'm saying that you shouldn't
be particularly surprised

that we aren't as
enthusiastic as we should be.

- Why, because I made
a few innocent comments

about the fact that you were
growing into young women?

- What the hell are you on about Susy?

- Is that what you're referring to?

- Dad, forget it.

- No I won't forget it.

So your breasts grow.

So I notice it and comment.

Is this a hideous crime?

- Let's not get too melodramatic, eh?

- Is this a hideous crime?

- No, now can we forget it?

- Oh that's right Kate, just
sweep it under the carpet

like you did last time.

- All fathers notice their
daughters' development.

All fathers notice.

I was proud.

All fathers notice.

- All fathers don't chase
their daughters around

and grab their breasts!

- Susy, I didn't!

- Calm down, it happened, okay,
it shouldn't have happened

but I'm sure it hasn't
totally ruined our lives.

- Yeah well I just want him to understand

why we're not willing to cut
off our right arms for him.

- I didn't touch them Paul, I swear.

- Dad, don't lie.

You only stopped when I screamed at you.

Now I know alcohol may have
destroyed most of your brain

but you have to remember that.

(laughing)

(screaming)

- Dad!

- I deserve to die.

- Don't start that, Dad.

- You do have some redeeming features.

- Like what?

- Well.

When Mum got sick you
were her gentleman, kind.

- I'm sorry okay?

I'm sorry I laid all that on you,

you've got enough problems.

I don't know what's
wrong with me sometimes.

- No more talk of raising though.

If I die, I die.

I mean it.

- Please don't be penitent, Dad.

Your remorse is more
nauseating than your crimes.

- I don't know,

as a Christian, I don't know what I--

- Oh shut up Paul, please.

Don't be so bloody pious.

He groped me, I whacked him, end of story.

- Unforgivable.

- Dad will you shut up?

Will you just shut up?

- Susy.

- What?

I don't know what to do, okay?

I'm not talking about that other stuff,

I'm talking about the
illness and the money.

I don't know what to do.

- Do what you usually do, just run.

- Just do nothing.

- She can't just do nothing
Dad, don't be ridiculous.

- Well I'm on my own here Kate.

I've got a crucial court case.

And you won't even testify.

What the fuck am I supposed to do?

- Hey, for once in your
life try telling the truth.

If you still know what that is.

(low murmuring)

- Starting to think you
weren't going to show up.

- I had to turn in the cab.

What do you mean?

Of course I'd be here.

- I just thought you might have decided

I didn't quite measure
up to your exceptionally

high moral standards.

- Susy, look I'm not gonna lie for you

but you know I'm on your side.

Who got you your lawyer?

- Yeah great.

Gary gets a $1,000 suit and
I get the bargain basement.

- You couldn't afford a phone
conversation with that guy,

okay, now who else were
you going to go to?

Rachel and her Lawyers for Christ?

- I thought you couldn't
be involved in the hearing.

- I'm not.

But I can be in audience.

- Great.

So you've come to see me lose as well.

- Of course not.

Why would you say that?

- Oh come on Marion.

- [Marion] Oh, I see he's
got Lovett acting for him.

- [Katy] Is he any good?

- [Marion] Only the best.

- Silence, all stand.

Please come to order.

This public hearing by the
anti-discrimination tribunal

presided over by its
president, Mrs. C. Bortolotto

and Mr. C. Buxton and Mr. B.
Hall, members of the tribunal.

In the matter of Susan Connor, complainant

versus Gareth Fitzgerald and
Fitzgerald and Associates

is now in session.

Please all be seated.

- [Ruth] My name is Miller
and I seek leave to appear

for the complainant.

- [Steve] My name is Lovett
and I seek similar leave

to appear for the respondant.

- Thank you Mr. Lovett.

Ms. Miller.

- Thank you Ms. President.

The complainant in this
matter, Susan Connor,

claims damages against
the respondent pursuant

to section 17 subsection
one, 21 subsection 2B,

and for acts that also
constitute sexual harassment

and wrongful dismissal in
breach of sections 21A2

and sections 120B1 and two.

At all material times in
this matter the complainant

was employed by the
second respondent that is

Life Choice Options proprietary limited--

- Life Choice Options
doesn't exist anymore.

It's my company, Fitzgerald
and Associates, your honor.

- Fitzgerald and Associates
is the same company,

Ms. President, the name
however has been changed

in support of which I
offer up the certificate

of incorporation on change
of name to the company

and the complainant also claims damages

to the respondents pursuant
to section 17 subsection one.

- Yes Mr. Lovett.

- If the tribunal pleases there
are some preliminary matters

which I wish to raise.

May be appropriate to hear them now before

my learned friend proceeds
on her full opening.

- [President] Yes, alright.

- [Steve] If I may clarify
with the tribunal--

- Here we go.

- Some dates of critical
events in this matter.

As I understand it...

And in breach of 21A2,
alternatively 20B1 and two,

the various provisions of
the act have been breached.

And sexual harassment is
alleged to have occurred...

Grounds J and new text
Australia and president

and members of the anti-discrimination
tribunal, page 807.

If I may offer a copy up of
this judgment for the tribunal?

- Ms. President.
- Yes Ms. Miller?

- While I concede that
the tribunal could come

to the conclusion that
paragraph four, subsection B

of the Xeroxed form in which
the respondent allegedly

requested to suck the
complainant's tits be disallowed

as part of the original
complaint, it would nonetheless

be my submission that is it inferential

from the additional document
and the paragraph mentioned

that there is a necessary nexus.

- See I told you she was good.

- It all sounds like bullshit to me.

What would they know?

I was the one who was there.

What the hell is a necessary nexus?

- It's a ritual they have to go through

especially when they're
being paid a fortune.

Now your lawyer's doing
alright, just be patient.

It is gonna be a very long day.

- Marion.

You wouldn't have another
cigarette, would you?

I'm sorry--
- Oh yes, sure, sure.

- Thank you.

Oh god it's a nightmare in there.

Don't they ever get bored
with technicalities?

I thought Mrs. Whatshername
would never call a break.

- How do you think it's going?

- Believe me, they've hardly started.

Key thing of course
will be Susy's evidence.

- Oh great.

When we got up to leave Lovett
looked at me and smiled,

the bastard.

- Now you don't need to be
intimidated by him, Susy.

Just tell the tribunal
exactly what happened.

Time's come to tell the truth.

- [Registrar] Take the
bible in your right hand

and read the oath from the card inside.

(clears throat)

- I swear by almighty
God that the evidence

I shall give in this
case shall be the truth,

the whole truth, and
nothing but the truth.

- Be seated.

- Will the witnesses be
removed, Madam President?

- Registrar?

- Would all witnesses
kindly leave the room?

- Is your full name Susan Alison Connor?

- Yes.

- [Ruth] And until July 1st
of this year you were employed

by Life Choice Options, is that correct?

- Yes.

- As assistant manager?

- I assisted the manager.

- [Ruth] Mr. Fitzgerald.

- Yes, that's correct.

- I began to put to the
tribunal a series of events

which led to your eventual dismissal

from Life Choice Options.

Now Fitzgerald and Associates.

Do you recall these events?

- Yes I do.

- Well, perhaps if I take
you to each of the things

you complained of, hmm?

I mentioned the question
of Mr. Fitzgerald's

prior infidelity, and it's--
- Madam President.

My learned friend I anticipate
is about to lead the witness

in relation to critical events--

- [President] I hope she's
not going to do that.

Ms. Miller?

- Thank you Ms. President.

No, that is not my intention.

Susy, could you tell
us the chain of events

which led to your dismissal?

The real story, Susy.

In your own words.

- The real story.

The real story is that I did
lead him on at the start.

Believe it or not I even
found him quite attractive.

He asked me out for lunch.

I said yes.

Pretty soon it became physical.

- Bullshit!

- Lunchtime sex.

I'd walk around the corner,
he'd pick me up in his car,

and within about five
minutes we'd be at my place.

- That's bullshit your honor!

- We'd be well gone
before my sister got home

at three o'clock.

It was pretty wild for a while there.

- [Ruth] Go on Susy.

- One morning I woke up.

I thought where is my life going?

Why am I sleeping with
a man I don't even like?

Who makes a living lying
to clients who trust him?

And who makes love

like it's some kind of violent punishment?

- I never went near you, you bitch!

- Mr. Fitzgerald, could we
please hear Ms. Connor's version?

You'll get your say shortly.

- It's all lies!

- [President] Continue please, Ms. Connor.

- When I told him it was over,

he didn't take that at all well.

You see Gary's sense of himself requires

that he discards women.

They don't discard him.

And that's when the phone calls started.

I'm not exactly a delicate flower.

But some of the things
he said on the phone

really shook me.

I should have left, I know that now.

But I thought no, stuff
it, why should I leave?

Okay fine I started it, but I
felt I had a right to end it

without getting abused.

- You're insane!

- You know they'll bar you.

I'm sorry Stephanie.

- What, I'm supposed
to sit here and listen

to this bullshit lie?

- Yes.

You'll be better equipped
to defend yourself

when you know what she's said.

- This isn't easy for me, Gary.

You've got a problem so
why don't we address it?

- Please address your comments
to the bench, Ms. Connor.

- I'm sorry.

- Go on, Susy.

- I know men get angry
when they're rejected.

That's normal.

But what he started to do was not normal.

He didn't just want to punish me.

He seemed to want to
completely annihilate me.

(intensifying music)

I knew I was dealing with
someone who had an immense

hostility for women.

He could barely control it.

I knew I couldn't last
much longer at this job

unless I organized some
kind of cease fire.

I thought that night that we worked back,

with just the two of us there, you know,

I thought I could maybe
talk him through it.

It was the worst night of my life.

Gary stop it.

He grabbed me.

(muffled shouting)

He started going on about how women

were two-faced bitches
who demanded equality

and then turned around and
used the same old pussy power

they'd been using since Cleopatra's time.

(clattering)

(groaning)

- All you little bitches are the same.

Think you can treat men like shit.

(suspenseful music)

- He said his wife treated him like shit

and now I was treating him like shit.

That I was gonna get down on the floor,

crawl across the carpet,
and give him oral sex.

(crying)

He started ranting on at me.

- About what?

- About his wife.

About when he had an affair
how she woke up his daughters

and told them about their
father the adulterer.

He told me that his wife got more pleasure

out of her vibrator than him.

And how he hated her so much

that the only thing
that made him feel good

was that he cheated on
her four times since.

Well I thought, I
thought this guy's crazy.

I gotta get outta here.

- Where are you going?

It's locked.

- I'll scream.

- He said to me scream away.
- Scream away.

No one will hear you.
- No one's gonna hear you.

- You wanna keep your job here?

(crying)

- [Susy] And then he asked me again.

- Do you want to keep your job here?

- I said yes.

- Good.

Then get down on the floor
on your hands and knees,

crawl across here, and suck my dick.

(intense music)

Do it!

- So I got down on the floor.

And I crawled towards him.

(gagging)

Suddenly I found myself
choking on a $50 note.

- Thank you Ms. Connor.

That certainly clarifies matters.

Perhaps it would be a
convenient time for a break.

The witness has been
in the box for a while.

- [Ruth] Yes, thank you Ms. President.

- I'm sorry I lied in some
of my earlier statements.

I just felt stupid and
ashamed that I'd fallen

for that macho stuff in the first place.

- I'm afraid too many
women do at the start.

No further questions, Ms. President.

- Mr. Lovett?

- No questions.

Madam President, under the
circumstances I request

an adjournment in order
that I might confer

with my client on an appropriate course.

- [President] Yes Mr. Lovett,

I think under the circumstances

and assuming Ms. Miller has no objections,

we will call an adjournment until 2 p.m.

- [Registrar] All rise.

(suspenseful music)

- Taking from one sleaze to help another.

If only it had been Bob Geldof or someone.

- Susy I've been wanting
to ask you something.

Since the hearing.

- Mm hmm, what?

- Was that all true, what you said?

- Kate, you think I lie all the time?

- So it was true, all of it?

- Come on Kate.

A locked door, a guy like that,
what do you think happened?

- Right.

So the $50...

- Should have made it $100.

- And when they opened
me up they said they knew

immediately I wouldn't
have lasted the distance.

So the fact that I'm here today

owes everything to you, Susy.

- So, now that we've paid the money

what are we gonna get?

How do you intend to spend the
next 10 years of your life?

- You'd like value for money?

- Actually yeah, I would.

- Well I've found a very
old friend and proposed.

- Proposed what?

- Marriage?
- Marriage.

I want a real, loving, full relationship.

- Who's the lucky girl, Dad?

- Gwen Mountjoy.

- Gwen Mountjoy?
- Mm hmm.

- 30,000 to see Gwen Mountjoy
stumble down the aisle?

- She's cut back on her drinking.

- What, like you have?

- Well not today, this is special.

- Well you'll certainly get a
full relationship with Gwen.

- Susy, I appreciate
what you've done for me

and I'll try and live the last
years of my life decently.

What more can I say?

- Well you can start by
saying thanks to Kate.

She's the one who made
me hand over the money.

- I'm sure she didn't.

- Oh yes she did.

Don't kid yourself.

If it'd been up to me,
we would have been down

at Alcoholics Anonymous
today scattering your ashes.

- After what you did to
them Dad you're lucky that

Katy and Susy were prepared
to chuck in anything at all.

- Okay I'm sorry, sorry!

Father who's drunk a bit
too much gives his daughters

a playful little tweak?

Big deal!

- More than a tweak.

- A tweak, Jesus!

- Please don't use that word!

- If that's all it
takes to ruin your lives

than pity help you.

- You've got no idea, have you?

- What?

- To you it was just a funny
little game you played.

Why are we making such a fuss, right?

- Well I didn't mean...

What...

Couple of little tweaks!

- Dad will you stop trying to minimize it?

Okay I know you never listen
to anything I ever say

and I know I'm the family joke.

But I do know that what
you did was not decent,

not normal, and not bloody acceptable.

No I mean it Dad, it's
the most disgusting thing

I ever heard.

Bloody disgusting.

Yeah poor old Paul,
what a loser, big joke.

And I always thought
it was because I wasn't

good enough or something.

Yeah well now I know why I never got

any gold American Express cards.

- Is there anything I did
right with you bloody kids?

- You groped them and
you totally ignored me!

- Well what do you suggest
should happen to me, eh?

Hanging?

Castration?

Would your old mate God
settle for eternal damnation?

Your brother thinks I'm a monster.

- Yeah well he's not the only one, Dad.

- What?

- For years I had fantasies
that the best thing

I could do for Mum would be to kill you.

I still dream about it sometimes.

- Dad.

We trusted you, okay?

You were like God to us.

You were charming, funny, loving.

We trusted you with our lives

and then one day we turn
13 and we're nothing

but tits on legs.

Do you have any idea how that feels?

Do you have any idea?

- We don't want to hate you, Dad.

We used to love you so much
and we really miss that.

- I'm sorry.

Susy.

Katy.

I'm extremely grateful
for what you did for me.

Thank you.

Thank you.

And Paul, Paul.

Thank you too.

You're all great kids.

In spite of me.

So here's to my family.

Hmm?

- Susy.

Forgive and forget?

- Forgive maybe.

Forget no way.

- Paul?

- Come on Paul.

- To the family then.

And to harmony between the sexes.

- Dad, don't get carried away.

(light music)

- Yeah, let's just drink to a truce.

(glasses clink)

♫ It was a lie

♫ How it started with you and I

♫ You and your smile

♫ It took me a while

♫ But now you see we're through babe

♫ I shouldn't question you that to part

♫ Is the smartest thing to do

♫ What a brilliant lie

♫ I no longer care to try

♫ They don't dare to ask me why

♫ I'm outta here

♫ When it was good

♫ But I found someone who understood

♫ I started to doubt

♫ That honey I caught you out

♫ Act like it's me that blew it

♫ And that I shouldn't do it

♫ The end what's a friend or two to you

♫ What a brilliant lie

♫ I no longer care to try

♫ Don't dare to ask me why

♫ I'm outta here

♫ Yes I'm outta here

♫ When will it strike you

♫ That I might have a point of view

♫ And that unlike you

♫ I wish that all of
the lies had come true

♫ I wish they'd come true

♫ But I have learned in love and war

♫ Beaten by both before

♫ And all's fair

♫ So why dare hope for more

♫ Ooh

♫ What a brilliant lie

♫ I no longer care to try

♫ Don't dare to ask me why

♫ I'm outta here

♫ I'm outta here

♫ What a brilliant lie

♫ What a brilliant lie

♫ Don't get to ask me why

♫ I'm outta here

♫ When it comes to brilliant lies

♫ Well I guess you take the prize so

♫ I finally got what

♫ And I'm outta here

♫ Yes I'm outta here

♫ Yeah

♫ What a brilliant lie

♫ I no longer care to try

♫ Don't dare to ask me why

♫ Bye bye

♫ Bye bye

♫ I'm outta here

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