The story of missing bushwalker Jamie Neale is turning more into a soap opera than anything else now:
HE WAS lost in the wilderness, cold and hungry for 12 days.
Now Jamie Neale has been abandoned by his father, who has rushed home to London to be the first to sell his son’s amazing tale of survival to the British press.
Less than 24 hours after the 19-year-old was released from hospital still suffering the effects of hypothermia and exhaustion, The Daily Telegraph reports his father Richard Cass left his son behind in Sydney in a dash home to cash in on the backpacker’s misadventure.
Cass, who told Australian media last week he was not interested in profiting from his son’s rescue and survival story, is understood to have asked his son for a 50 per cent share of Neale’s deal with Channel 9’s 60 Minutes program.
Not content with his son’s offer to cover his father’s airfares and the cost of a drinks celebration with rescue workers at Hotel Gearin in Katoomba, Cass was also believed to be upset by his son’s treatment of him during the Tara Brown interview.
Neale hinted at the pair’s estranged relationship when he told 60 Minutes he was “surprised” his father had flown to Sydney to join the rescue effort.
The admission is understood to have angered Cass, who had crafted a perfect parent image with the media.
Neale had refused his father’s plea to split the $100,000 he was paid for his story, while honouring his pledge to donate proceeds from the deal to the emergency services who helped find him. [The Daily Telegraph]
Good on Jamie Neale for repaying the authorities for whatever the cost was for his rescue. That is good to hear. Here is what Jamie’s mom has to say about his father’s greedy ways:
Neale’s mother Jean blasted her ex-husband for seeking payment, telling The Sun
“He phoned me yesterday to say he was selling his story because he was angry Jamie is refusing to share the money with him,” she said. “His behaviour is outrageous.”
I don’t know what to think about this story any more.