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Amber Harrison defiant after losing battle with Seven's 'boys' club' -

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KIM LANDERS: Amber Harrison remains defiant, despite losing an ugly court battle with the Seven Network, which has ordered her to pay the media giant's legal bills.

The former executive assistant and one-time lover of Seven West boss Tim Worner says she'll have no choice but to be declared bankrupt.

Ms Harrison was slammed by a New South Wales Supreme Court judge for bringing the case upon herself by breaking costly confidentiality agreements with Seven.

Despite that, Ms Harrison remained unapologetic when she spoke with the ABC's senior business correspondent, Peter Ryan.

AMBER HARRISON: The problem with that ruling is that you're up against people that thrive on operating in this system.

Look, Peter, there's no doubt I made mistakes, but the difference is that I was just one person and, as I said, the system is very complex and Seven have in-house lawyers, external lawyers, and they have access to everything and anything they want to try and bring me down.

I was making it up as I went along and I did my best.

PETER RYAN: In hindsight, though, should you have stuck to the confidentiality agreements that you had signed in return for around $400,000, instead of breaking the deal and going public?

AMBER HARRISON: I didn't receive that money, so that is an untruth.

And I did stick to a confidentiality deal for 2.5 years and fought to the bitter end privately to resolve the matter.

When I was exhausted emotionally and financially and left ruined in December of 2016, I made a decision that the court system does not serve an individual: it serves a company who knows its way around it.

And I took the path that I took. And no, I do not regret that.

PETER RYAN: Justice Sackar, though, said that there were plenty of opportunities to reach a deal with Seven. Why didn't you make a deal with Seven?

AMBER HARRISON: Because we could never reach agreement - and that is not through lack of trying every day for three years that we were in contact through lawyers.

PETER RYAN: One of the things that Seven said, Ms Harrison, during the hearing is that you remain in possession of confidential documents.

Is that true? Do you still have them? Have you handed them back?

AMBER HARRISON: The court order is to hand them back and that's why we will be handing them back everything they think I have, so they have complete peace of mind that they have everything.

PETER RYAN: You're a single mother with a foster child so, on the personal front, what sort of toll has this case taken?

AMBER HARRISON: Oh, litigation is your life, whether you do it in public or you do it in private. Mine, obviously, has been extremely public.

The last week: bruising. You know, I think that they won in court by bankrupting me, but the court of public opinion is very different and I've had overwhelming support.

So now they have control of mine and my child's future and I have to figure out how we're going to live and raise, and how I'm going to raise him under this.

PETER RYAN: I'm told that, despite having costs awarded against you, Seven is unlikely to actually pursue you as long as you stick to the terms of the gag order: not to speak about your affair with Tim Worner; not to reveal confidential Seven documents.

So, are you prepared to do that?

AMBER HARRISON: Of course. And I agreed with the court to that and I will stick to that.

PETER RYAN: But has Seven approached you since yesterday's ruling with any kind of compromise or deal that might prevent you from going bankrupt?

AMBER HARRISON: No. And it's very early days.

I expect we'll land where we are, which will be: I will be pursued for costs.

PETER RYAN: In the broader context, what are the lessons from this case in terms of how women are at times treated or, perhaps, sometimes bullied in corporate Australia?

AMBER HARRISON: At some point the boys' clubs that dominate and define Australian business are going to wake up and realise they are no longer in control.

And I think my case is a wake-up call for them, and I hope it changes things and changes culture and how individuals are treated against the system.

You know, in the end the truth has a habit of coming out and I don't doubt that it will.

PETER RYAN: Your affair with Tim Worner was consensual, even though it did end badly.

So, what's your advice to both men and women who might be tempted to have an office affair, especially if it might be with the boss?

AMBER HARRISON: It cannot be a sackable offence for men and women to have relationships in the office.

You know, there's a statistic: something like 60 per cent of relationships come from the office.

So, you know, it does go bad and there are those cases, but in some cases, it really works.

So, we cannot have, you know, my case or other cases that are ventilated in public, including AFL, be the new mark of, no-one can have relationships in the office.

It's completely unrealistic.

KIM LANDERS: Amber Harrison speaking with the ABC's senior business correspondent, Peter Ryan.