THE family of misunderstood bouncer Greg Stacey offered their condolences to the Vautin family yesterday – but confirmed they will still continue legal action against The Footy Show host Paul Vautin. An obvious mistake that was not only made by Fatty, but by many watching the Footy Show has been taken to a ridiculous level by the Stacey family.
As confirmed by Paul Vautin, anyone with a disabled person in their family would never wish to ridicule or point the finger at someone else as they know only too well the difficult situation faced day in day out. With the passing this week of Vautin’s brother, many felt the Stacey family would retract their threats and choose to make peace after the misunderstanding.
As it stands, the Stacey family are continuing their efforts to chase Vautin in what can now only be described as a cash grab, considering Vautin has apologised repeatedly for the mix-up and pointed out clearly that a person in his position with a disabled brother would never ridicule someone in the same situation.
While Vautin grieved the passing of his disabled brother Geoff in Brisbane, a case was still being compiled against his on-air accusations that Mr Stacey, a benign epileptic, appeared “blind” drunk while working the door of Brisbane’s Caxton Hotel on State of Origin night. A misconception made by thousands of viewers after seeing the brief footage during the telecast.
Greg’s father Peter Stacey confirmed that the Vautin family had phoned to apologise for comments made against his son.
And, while he admitted that Vautin would probably not have made the comments had he known about the illness, he added: “But it’s done now.”
“We also got a call from Vautin’s mum confirming that her son Geoff was terribly ill. But we haven’t called them back because we didn’t know what to say,” Mr Stacey said.
“Our hearts go out to the family, particularly his mother, but that doesn’t change what’s happened to us and our son.
“It’s going to be a hard time for Paul. I really do sympathise for him.”
Vautin has apologised to the bouncer for his comments and was expected to repeat it during Thursday’s airing of The Footy Show.
But when asked if the long-time host would front the program tomorrow night, a Channel 9 spokesman said: “We are respecting the privacy of the Vautin family as they grieve the loss of a son and brother. We will be in contact with Paul through the week.”
Geoffrey Vautin, who had Down syndrome, died in a Brisbane care facility at 12.30am yesterday.
The death came only 2 days after he was brought into the media storm over his Fattys comments.
Vautin said he would never deliberately ridicule a disabled person – revealing that his own brother had Down syndrome.
In a statement released by his manager John Gibbs late yesterday, Vautin said his brother would be “sadly missed but always remembered”.
“I am too upset and am grieving with my family to make further comment,” he said.
“I would appreciate that you allow my family our private time.”
It has been a tough week for Vautin and The Footy Show, with 2GB broadcaster Ray Hadley alleging segments ridiculing the disabled were often a deliberate aim of the show. Former panel member Hadley is always looking to ‘get one up’ on his former employer Channel 9 and used his position to drive the knife in. Hadley while enjoying a large following among the over 60’s crowd has built up an ever growing pool of enemies in Rugby League circles.
Hadley said “Street Talk” staff were often sent in search of “nuffies” – a claim Nine has rejected.
“They search around for homeless people, derelicts, alcoholics, people who look different,” Hadley said.
Interesting comments from the 2GB host considering that Hadley himself spends a good portion of his weekly show berating panel member Darryl Brohman, various callers and other staff members.