Sarah Murdoch’s brother allegedly told one of his employees to ‘f**k off’ in an email argument – before claiming his account was hacked.
Shaun O’Hare, whose model and actress sister is married to media mogul Lachlan Murdoch, runs international consultancy firm Eutility.
A resigning energy broker was arguing with managing director Clynton Higgs and chief financial officer Sara Marks when Mr O’Hare allegedly interjected.
‘F**k off, you deal with me now,’ he allegedly sent from his iPhone on July 14 in an email chain seen by Daily Mail Australia.
Shaun O’Hare is pictured with burlesque dancer Lucy Ellem arriving at his sister Sarah and Lachlan Murdoch’s 20th anniversary party at Bondi Icebergs in 2019
Mr O’Hare is the brother of model Sarah Murdoch, who is married to News Corp media mogul Lachlan Murdoch
The 55-year-old employee said he would complain to the Fair Work Ombudsman about the email and events leading up to it.
‘I was absolutely shocked. disgusted, annoyed, and scared when I saw that email,’ he said in an interview.
Mr O’Hare, having been called out by the employee, sent a far more conciliatory follow up claiming he never sent the offending email.
‘We are tracing a potential email hack as I certainly didn’t send that email,’ he wrote.
‘I wish you all the best in your new endeavours and I am confident both Clynton and yourself will work this out. I certainly have no involvement at this point.
‘I am sure our paths will cross again and will look forward to seeing you if it does.’
The employee rejected this explanation and said he was sure his former boss sent the email.
Mr O’Hare stuck to his story when contacted by Daily Mail Australia while on holiday in Spain and said he believed he had ‘patched things up’ with his ex-employee.
‘That’s still under investigation… I haven’t got the latest yet from my office, I’ve been travelling on holidays,’ he said.
Mr O’Hare got engaged to burlesque dancer and model Lucy Ellem, known professionally as Lulu Belle, in October 2020
When not holidaying in Europe, Mr O’Hare has spent much of the past few years during Covid at his vacation home in Port Douglas in Far North Queensland, rather than his Sydney home
‘I’ve told him if I see him on the street I’d shake his hand. It’s just one of those things that happens.’
However, the employee claimed Mr O’Hare called him soon after speaking with Daily Mail Australia and admitted to sending the ‘f**k off’ email.
‘He apologised for the email, he said it was poor form,’ he said.
The dispute arose when the employee resigned after six years at Eutility, an energy and telecommunication management company, to work for a competitor.
He claimed he was owed about $10,000 in commissions but the company was dragging its feet, prompting the email chain into which Mr O’Hare interjected.
Ms Marks also agreed to let the broker keep his mobile phone number, but Mr Higgs reneged on the deal.
‘As you are going to a competitor I have overruled Sara’s offer,’ he wrote in a text.
The staffer also claimed Mr O’Hare called him in November to say if he did not improve his results he wouldn’t have a job by the end of March.
‘[Since the call] I had not been sleeping well and I did everything I could to try to improve my result and re-build,’ he wrote to Mr O’Hare.
He claimed the call was illegal as he wasn’t warned or told what to do to improve beforehand, and he was later given an ‘unachievable’ performance improvement plan to manage him out of the company.
Mr O’Hare strongly denies making the phone call.
Ms Ellem promotes herself as being well practiced in the ‘art of seduction/burlesque/trapeze’
Ms Ellem started dating Mr O’Hare in November 2018, but their relationship status is now up in the air
When not holidaying in Europe, Mr O’Hare has spent much of the past few years during Covid at his vacation home in Port Douglas in Far North Queensland, rather than his Sydney home.
During that time he got engaged to burlesque dancer and model Lucy Ellem, known professionally as Lulu Belle, in October 2020 after they started dating in November 2018.
‘Very happy to announce Lucy Ellem and my engagement to be married whenever these travel restrictions end… love you darling,’ he wrote on Facebook at the time.
Ms Ellem, whose promotes herself as being well practiced in the ‘art of seduction/burlesque/trapeze’, was even a guest at Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch’s 20th wedding anniversary party in April 2019.
However, both changed their social media profile pictures to photos without each other, and Mr O’Hare was coy about their relationship status.
‘Lucy and I are very good friends,’ he said when asked if they were still together, and confirmed she did not travel to Europe with him.
When asked if that meant they were just friends and the engagement was off, he responded: ‘That’s still to be determined… She’s a lovely girl.’
He moments later walked back from his comments, saying they were still together.
Mr O’Hare has two teenage daughters, Ashleigh and Tara, from a previous relationship.
He started Eutility in 1999 and serves as its executive director.