Mining magnate Gina Rinehart looked like a million bucks as she stepped out in public for the first time since her $15 million feud with Netball Australia.
Australia’s richest person – who is worth about $36 billion – showed up at an awards ceremony wearing a spectacular Paspaley pearl and sapphire necklace, estimated to be worth nearly $1 million, plus $$ bejeweled Dolce and Gabbana strings. 1,600.
Ms. Rinehart pulled the plug last month from her lucrative netball sponsorship deal after a player protested the logo of her Hancock mining company on their uniform.
Mining magnate Gina Rinehart (right) looked a million dollars with her Hancock Prospecting CEO Garry Korte (left) as she stepped out for the first time since her $15 million sponsorship row with Netball Australia
Gina Rinehart wore a necklace of rare oversized pearls, believed to be from Paspaley in Western Australia in the Kimberley, and a giant sapphire jewel (left). She paired it with $1,600 Dolce and Gabbana jeweled flip flops (right) that continue the white and sapphire theme by combining brilliant blue gems and patent white leather
Indigenous player Donnell Wallam wanted an exemption from wearing the sponsored team jersey over racist comments Ms Rinehart’s father made 40 years ago, with teammates supporting her decision.
The move sparked an outraged response from Ms Rinehart, who slammed Netball Australia for ‘virtue signaling’ over her much-needed cash injection.
The $15 million contract would be a lifeline for the organization, which has lost $7 million in the past two years as the costs of Super Netball soared.
Victorian Prime Minister Dan Andrews later intervened with a new $15 million deal from the Visit Victoria tourism agency.
But on Wednesday, Ms Rinehart jumped back into the limelight when she appeared on the arm of Hancock Prospecting boss, Garry Korte, at the CEO Magazine Executive of the Year awards in Sydney.
She smiled and posed cheerfully on the red carpet with Mr. Korte, who received an Honorable Award for CEO of the Year.
Though dripping with expensive jewelry, including diamond and sapphire earrings, Ms. Rinehart, 68, kept her outfit relatively casual for a ceremony with a black tie, with a lacy white poncho cape over a simple white top and white leggings.
The netball feud exploded after comments from Ms Rinehart’s father Lang Hancock resurfaced in 1984 when he said authorities had to contaminate the water supply to sterilize Indigenous Australians.
The netball feud exploded after comments from Mrs Rinehart’s father Lang Hancock (pictured with daughter Gina Rinehart in 1982) resurfaced when he said authorities had to contaminate the water supply to sterilize Indigenous Australians
“Those who don’t take care of themselves and can’t accept things, the half-cases — and this is where most of the trouble comes in,” he said in a TV documentary.
“I would anesthetize the water so that they are sterile and would reproduce in the future and that would solve the problem.”
Hancock died in 1992 at the age of 82, saying that Indigenous Australians who had been “assimilated” should be left alone.
“Those who are assimilated to, you know, earn a good living or earn wages in the civilized areas,” he said.
“Those who have been accepted into society and they have accepted society and can handle society, I would leave them alone.”
The feud sparked a firestorm until Hancock finally tore up the netball deal.
“Hancock and its executive chair, Ms. Rinehart, believe there is no need for sports organizations to be used as vehicles for social or political ends,” Hancock Prospecting said in a statement.
“There are more focused and sincere ways to advance social or political causes without virtue signaling or for self-promotion.”
Indigenous player Donnell Wallam (pictured) wanted an exemption from wearing the sponsored team jersey over racist comments Ms Rinehart’s father made 40 years ago
Netball Australia chief executive Kelly Ryan admitted it was “very disappointing” that the sponsorship was cut.
She added: “Obviously Ms. Rinehart’s opinion is hers and we appreciate it very much.”
Donnell Wallam came out of line to make her Diamonds debut off the bench against England and scored the winner with her first touch of the ball.
She missed the second game through illness, but returned in the third game and scored a perfect 15-15, scoring on every try, in a 57-53 win to win the series 3-0.