A women's magazine has reportedly paid $55,000 for paparazzi photographs of media personality Chrissie Swan smoking while pregnant with her third child.
The embattled radio host was apparently willing to pay $10,000 to keep the images from public view.
Swan, a columnist and radio presenter who hosts Channel 10's Can of Worms, broke down on radio and television yesterday, tearfully confessing to her "shameful secret" of smoking while pregnant, despite knowing that it could harm her baby.
Now it has emerged that Swan was prepared to buy the photographs for $10,000 to prevent their publication. But the cost of the snaps spiralled to $55,000, which was reportedly paid by a women's magazine.
Radio talkback host Ian "Dicko" Dickson, a friend of Swan, said during his broadcast on 2UE on Thursday morning that his business partner, who also manages Swan, had been part of the negotiations.
"My business partner also manages Chrissy and I heard that they tried to buy the shots off the paparazzi," Dickson told listeners.
"And the agent said, 'Look, it's currently at $1000 but I have to warn you, it might go ... by the end of the day, we'll probably sell these for $10,000". And Chrissy and David were prepared to spend $10,000 to keep these things under wraps. In the end they sold for $55,000. I think it was Woman's Day, actually."
Dickson also spoke of the pressure Swan was under.
"I know her as a friend. No one will be harder on her than her. She feels ashamed, absolutely ashamed, and do you know what? Even though I can understand her situation – because look, I'm a slave to my urges – she needs to be ashamed. It is the wrong thing to do."
But he was scathing of the magazine's intentions.
He said a picture of Swan on a magazine cover, smoking while pregnant, was "going to bring it all up for her again. I guess you have to question the morality of that as well, don't you?"
Fairfax Media has contacted Woman's Day for comment.
The story Swan tried to pay $10,000 for smoking photos, Dicko says first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.