Four Italian girls' mother pleaded with 60 Minutes
LAURA Kate, the mother of the four Italian girls at the centre of a bitter custody dispute has posted a photo with her young girls taken in Italy.
It shows the smiling girls embracing their mum they last saw when they were dragged from her at her Sunshine Coast home by federal police two-and-a-half years ago.
The letter Laura wrote to 60 MInutes and Channel 9, pleading with them not to air the interview with the girls on national television last night, has also appeared on the Facebook page, Kids without Voices.
The page was started by friends and family during the middle of the emotionally charged fight for the mother to try and keep the girls in the country.
Their Italian father was seeking their return to Italy under the Hague Convention as they had been taken permanently from their Italian home without his knowledge or consent.
The letter reads:
My lawyers have advised me to contact you with regard to the entertainment piece you propose to air on 60 Minutes as they are unable to represent me in Australia…
I am currently in Italy spending the last few days of some very precious time with my daughters and it was brought to my attention only yesterday that you had interviewed my daughters without my knowledge or consent.
As a mother to a young child, I'm sure you can appreciate my concern over the disrespect to me as their parent and would certainly not allow anyone to approach your child to appear in a tv segment to be shown internationally without your knowledge or consent.
Not only that, the girls were bribed with money and when they said no, offered even more money, which is simply an unconscionable act. How dare anyone!
Perhaps you [believed] I had authorised or consented to the girls being interviewed prior to having my lawyers intervene.
As their parent with active custodial rights I did not consent to the girls being interviewed and I would never consent to them being interviewed, particularly when they've only recently spoken to a judge in a pending case about their future.
It's particularly disturbing to me that you're proceeding with airing the segment seemingly with full knowledge that my lawyers requested there was to be no contact by the media with the girls.
In addition, both parties have been court ordered to not speak with or make statements to the media as part of previous rulings.
As the commercials started to air yesterday and the hate campaigners came back out in force (many on the 60 Minutes Facebook page - how do you think the girls will feel to read those nasty, hurtful comments?), my daughters told me the truth about what had happened.
The girls were advised … not to tell me that they'd spoken to the media or participated in staged interviews ….
I have spent much of the last 24 hours consoling all four girls ……. They're distraught and in an extreme state of stress ……….
Contrary to what [you may have been told] he did proceed with criminal charges against me and tried to have my parental rights removed entirely.
What [they] may not have also advised is that we're still in the middle of custody and divorce proceedings that are still being decided.
Allowing your segment to go ahead is a violation of the court ruling regarding no media involvement and simply adds additional stress to the girls' lives which is not necessary and extremely hurtful to them as children.
Tara, you and 60 Minutes have already put our family and my children through hell with your previous one-sided, inaccurate story which aired solely for ratings and for the entertainment of people who do not give a damn about my children and their physical or emotional welfare.
I ask that you do not do this again. Perhaps your intent is to fully destroy and discredit me and my family, but I doubt you've taken one second to consider how that affects the girls now that they realise they were manipulated and used simply because they're a good 'story'.
On behalf of my four daughters, and as a mother who is deeply concerned for how they will cope when I am not there to support them and they are left to their own devices to cope with the fallout from the segment airing, I ask that you show some humanity and compassion, put your ego aside, and leave me, them and our family alone.
It is traumatic enough that the court system has been so slow to rule in each case. Don't make it worse for the girls because you want to attempt to destroy my reputation once again, because it's your 'job'.
Being a good human is a far more important job; one I would hope you're teaching your son.
Please consider this my formal request to not air the segment you've produced involving my daughters.