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Lisa Wilkinson accused of ‘playing the victim’ in speech announcing she was quitting The Project

Lisa Wilkinson is dismayed at her speech when she quit The Project, with a media commentator accusing her of playing the victim.

The presenter told viewers on Sunday evening that she was quitting the show and had to set new priorities in her life after six tumultuous months.

“The past six months have not been easy, and the relentless targeted toxicity of some parts of the media has taken its toll on not only me but the people I love,” she said.

But The Australian media writer Sophie Elsworth said most of the media’s attacks were due to “her own fault”, referring to how Wilkinson delayed the trial of Brittany Higgins’ alleged rapist Bruce Lehrmann.

“Lisa Wilkinson has typically made everything about her and is playing the victim here,” Ms Elsworth told Sky News’ Chris Kenny on Monday night.

Lisa Wilkinson announced on Sunday night that she was leaving Channel 10’s The Project

“She made headlines in June for that speech that we know she gave at the Logies that was problematic, so that’s mainly why she made a lot of headlines.

“But she took last night’s departure from The Project to criticize the media on her way out.”

Kenny said Wilkinson’s farewell message was “bizarre” and that she “seemed to blame other media outlets for her mistakes.”

“She’s very good at playing the victim, and she did very well last night,” Mrs Elsworth added.

“All of her fans say how shocking the media has treated her, but I have to say a lot of it was her own fault.”

Last year, OzTAM ratings revealed that Channel 10's premier current affairs program had lost nearly a third of its viewers since 2011.  Pictured (LR): Tommy Little, Peter Helliar, Hamish Macdonald, Carrie Bickmore, Waleed Aly, Lisa Wilkinson and Gorgi Coghlan

Last year, OzTAM ratings revealed that Channel 10's premier current affairs program had lost nearly a third of its viewers since 2011.  Pictured (LR): Tommy Little, Peter Helliar, Hamish Macdonald, Carrie Bickmore, Waleed Aly, Lisa Wilkinson and Gorgi Coghlan

Last year, OzTAM ratings revealed that Channel 10’s premier current affairs program had lost nearly a third of its viewers since 2011. Pictured (LR): Tommy Little, Peter Helliar, Hamish Macdonald, Carrie Bickmore, Waleed Aly, Lisa Wilkinson and Gorgi Coghlan

Australia's media writer Sophie Elsworth accused Wilkinson of 'playing the victim' in her farewell speech

Australia's media writer Sophie Elsworth accused Wilkinson of 'playing the victim' in her farewell speech

Australia’s media writer Sophie Elsworth accused Wilkinson of ‘playing the victim’ in her farewell speech

Wilkinson, who has been a familiar face on Australian screens for more than 20 years, told audiences on Sunday night that she had some “exciting work ideas ahead” but needed some time to regroup.

She promised other high-profile female journalists — Leigh Sales, Tracey Grimshaw and Carrie Bickmore — who had recently retired from presenting roles a margarita on her when she announced she was leaving The Project.

“I’ve decided it’s time to re-prioritize a few things in my life,” Wilkinson began with The Bachelor co-hosts Hamish Macdonald and Laura Byrne.

“And after nearly 15 years of early morning breakfast TV, and now another five years here at The Project desk, I’m looking at how I want the next few years to play out both professionally and personally.

Wilkinson won a Logie for Outstanding News Coverage for an interview with Brittany Higgins

Wilkinson won a Logie for Outstanding News Coverage for an interview with Brittany Higgins

Wilkinson won a Logie for Outstanding News Coverage for an interview with Brittany Higgins

“So starting tonight, I’m going to stop hosting the show.”

The host added that she was “not above criticism” and sometimes made mistakes.

“I’m human, and I don’t always get it right, none of us do, but by God, I tried,” she said.

“I’ve given this job everything I’ve got, and I hope you, back home, know that.

“I hope I’ve brought you stories that matter, introduced you to people whose lives and experiences would otherwise have gone untold, and helped raise awareness of issues that deserve our collective attention.

So to everyone who has been so incredibly supportive and reaching out, especially over the past few months, thank you. You’ll never know how much it meant to me.’

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