Shane Warne is engaged in a war of words with Australian newspaper, the Herald Sun.
Shane Warne, the former Austalian cricketer, had told his legion of Twitter followers that the Herald Sun had repeatedly printed ”lies” about him, and called on them to complain to the paper.
”Don’t care if I get sacked as it’s to [sic] many times now re Herald Sun printing lies and not facts about me and others,” he declared.
Shane Warne referred to claims made by the Rupert Murdoch-owned News Ltd newspaper that he had demanded 14 tickets and VIP treatment at the Australian Open tennis.
Its report of his outburst described it rather euphemistically as ”a barrage of damning tweets”.
By 9.30am today, on Australia Day, Shane Warne was on his iPhone, posting his outburst to his 306,000 Twitter followers.
Many are now waiting for the next instalment in Warne’s war of words with the Herald Sun, not least Rupert Murdoch’s senior executives, who employ him as a highly paid columnist.
Former Herald Sun editor Bruce Guthrie said Warne’s comments would create a major headache for senior editors.
”It’s always a major headache when one of your star columnists turns on you,” Guthrie said. ”It’s not a good look,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Guthrie said senior staff would have spent yesterday discussing how ”to try and kill this”.
“I imagine it will all end up with some puff piece being run to appease Warne,” he said.
The Age newspaper says Shane Warne is a star columnist at News Ltd’s Sydney headquarters.
”The Herald Sun merely gets his copy, along with all the other Australian papers,” a source told The Age.
Shane Warne is having a bad run with Murdoch’s stable of newspapers.
”Warne will be complaining directly to Sydney, where he is well connected, which will make life tough for those in Melbourne,” the source said.
Recently, a Herald Sun poll dubbed Shane Warne’s talk show, Warnie, the ”runaway winner of worst Aussie TV program”.
In London, The Sun, another Murdoch-owned newspaper, printed pictures of Warne’s ex-wife, Simone Callahan, moving out of the family home in Brighton.
The pictures show Callahan allegedly removing boxes of possessions, in the wake of further revelations of Warne’s romance with model Elizabeth Hurley.
”It will be interesting to see if we pick them [the photos] up in Australia,” a source told The Age.
In Australia, where it is now Thursday, Shane Warne has already begun the day seeking suggestions for a morning pick-me-up to stop him feeling like the ”bottom of a budgie cage” after a sleepless night.
First to the rescue was Hurley, who replied: ”Ping Pong would love to peck you – you’d be her first blonde.” Ping Pong is Hurley’s pet parrot.
Warne replied: ”I think ping pong would like me so he wouldn’t peck me.”
Warne apparently settled on a combination of Berocca, spaghetti on toast, a banana milkshake and his ”smokes” in preparation for day two of the Aussie Millions poker tournament at Crown Casino.