The daughter of wife killer Borce Ristevski could have received as much as $250,000 for her controversial interview with 60 Minutes.
Sarah Ristevski told the program she wasn’t ’emotionally ready’ to accept her father brutally killed her mother – and insisted she would love and support him when he walks free from prison.
But viewers of the high-priced 60 Minutes interview were left wondering whether it was money well spent after the hour-long exclusive failed to shed any new light on the case.
The TV interview windfall comes as the family home, where Karen Ristevski, 47, was most likely killed, is rented out for $750 a week.
Dress shop owner Karen disappeared from the family home in Avondale Heights, north-west Melbourne, on June 29, 2016. Pictured with Borce and Sarah
Borce Ristevski and his daughter Sarah in 2016 before he was convicted of killing his wife
The body of Mrs Ristevski was found in bushland in Mount Macedon, north of Melbourne, in January 2017 — eight months after she went missing.
Ristevski has never disclosed how or why he killed his wife of 27 years.
‘I don’t like to talk about what happened. We don’t talk about it. We don’t think about it,’ Ms Ristevski told 60 Minutes.
‘Even though he’s pleaded guilty I find it hard to comprehend that he is guilty. I think if he were in my position he would support me.’
Channel 9 spokesman Terry Stuart said the network would not comment on whether ‘interview talent’ on any of its programs had or had not been paid for their appearance.
As reporters scurried to interview Ms Ristevski following her father’s last-minute decision to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter last year, speculation was rife that she had been ‘snapped-up’ by a high paying news program.
Industry insiders told Daily Mail Australia the figure being discussed for the interview was between $150,000 and $250,000.
‘It would have got them some viewers, but most of them would have thought it was garbage and won’t come back next time when they do one of those promos,’ a well-heeled insider said.
‘They ran it over the full hour, even though she said nothing … they wasted their money.’
Borce Ristevski (pictured) was a pallbearer at the funeral of his wife Karen in March 2017
An emotional Sarah Ristevski told 60 Minutes reporter Liz Hayes (pictured) she still struggles to comprehend her father’s role in her mother’s death
Karen Ristevski was likely killed inside the couple’s Avondale Heights home where detectives converged outside on February 21, 2017 (pictured)
High-priced payments to ‘worthwhile talent’ by flagship current affairs programs are nothing new.
Lindy Chamberlain, the Beaconsfield miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb, and survivors and families of the Lindt Cafe Siege in Sydney all reportedly received large payments for interviews.
In 2018, Barnaby Joyce and his partner Vikki Campion’s tell-all interview with 60 Minutes reportedly netted them $150,000.
The family of Colombian drug mule Cassie Sainsbury was rumoured to have scored about $200,000 for their 60 Minutes interview in 2017.
But while viewers may feel none-the-wiser after watching the Ristevski interview, television bosses at Nine are likely to be declaring the money well spent, another insider said.
‘Nationally, 60 Minutes’ ratings are up about 100,000 viewers week on week – 688,000 versus 772,000 last night – so they will consider it money well spent,’ a source said.
While Ms Ristevski is rumoured to have cleaned-up over the interview, the former media figure said the cash might have been closer to the the $100,000 mark.
‘With (Channel Seven’s) Sunday Night and Today show shutting and the decline of the magazines, it means the market – and therefore the prices – for these interviews has come down a lot in recent years,’ he said.
‘Five years ago she might have got $250,000, but these days more like $80,000 or maybe $100,000 given it is the second Sunday of the ratings year.’
Whatever the actual figure, Ms Ristevski – a graphic designer – is likely to be cashing in on the high-priced rental value of the former family home where he mum met her fate.
Pictured: Sarah with her father, Borce, as a young girl. She said she has always loved her father and always will
The house currently demands as much as $750 a week, which is a couple of hundred less than it was taking-in in 2018 before being outed as the Ristevski death house.
While Ms Ristevski gave little insight into what was going through her father’s mind when he killed her mum, Daily Mail Australia revealed the killer was struggling to remain financially afloat as police closed in on him.
As debt collectors chased Ristevski over an extraordinary $51,102.18 Westpac credit card bill, he was working at a construction site in Flemington – just north of Melbourne – managing traffic.
‘He was a lollipop man,’ a source told Daily Mail Australia.
In August, Daily Mail Australia revealed the killer failed to pay a cent off a whopping $28,666.77 Westpac bill for four years until debt collector, Credit Corp Services Pty Ltd, took him to court.
The credit card had an interest rate of 19.99 per cent and the interest mounted until he was left owing an extra $22,000 in payments in 2017.
The credit card lawsuit may have been the final straw for the Bella Bleu shop that he had continued to operate after Karen’s death.
Television reporter Cameron Baud (right) boldly asked Borce Ristevski (centre) if he had killed Karen, bringing a media conference to a tearful end. His interview informed viewers more about Borce than a rumoured high-priced ‘tell all’ with his daughter
In chains: Borce Ristevski is led into court in March last year. He remains in isolation in jail for fear he will be bashed again
He shut down the shop, at Watergardens shopping centre, that same month.
A massive credit card bill wasn’t the only bad debt Ristevski had.
The Australian newspaper has previously claimed that a rag trade business run by Ristevski and his brother, Vasko, collapsed owing $600,000 in debts more than a decade ago.
Ristevski reportedly lost a $290,000 loan he made to the business. A caveat was also reportedly placed on his family home.
Daily Mail Australia has been told the wife killer continues to do hard time in jail.
On his first day in prison, in December 2017, he was assaulted while in the yard of the Melbourne Assessment Prison.
‘He copped a quilting,’ an insider told Daily Mail Australia.
It is understood Ristevski continues to be kept isolated from other inmates for his own protection, with prison guards keeping a close watch on the 55-year old, who was initially given nine years jail but was increased to 13-years with a minimum of 10 after an appeal by prosecutors.
Karen was killed by her husband at their home in Avondale Heights, Melbourne, in June 2016.
Sarah Ristevski led the procession at the funeral, holding a framed picture of her shop owner and fashion designer mum
Mystery remains about why Karen Ristevski (pictured) was killed by her husband Borce, who pleaded guilty to her manslaughter
Borce Ristevski, 55, killed his wife Karen (left) at their home Avondale Heights, Melbourne, in June 2016, before dumping her body in a regional park. Pictured with their daughter Sarah, who was 21 at the time
He feigned innocence, lied to the police, the public and his daughter, and even carried his wife’s coffin at her funeral, until admitting to manslaughter on the eve of his murder trial in 2019.
In the 60 Minutes interview, Ms Ristevski said she ‘wouldn’t go there’ when further pressed on her father’s guilt.
Channel 7 reporter Cameron Baud had put the very same question to Borce himself the day after his wife vanished.
Known as the ‘Harvester of Sorrow’ among news reporters, Baud’s questioning remains the most compelling insight into the killer’s mind even though he didn’t answer the question.
‘He got more out of it with no answers than an hour of bulls**t last night,’ an insider said.
KAREN RISTEVSKI: HOW THE MYSTERY UNFOLDED
June 29, 2016
* Karen Ristevski last seen at her Melbourne home in Avondale Heights
* Her mobile phone pings off a tower in the Macedon Ranges
* A car similar to her black Mercedes SLK coupe spotted by CCTV cameras near Diggers Rest railway station
December 19, 2016
* Police search grassland, waterways, creeks and farms
February 20, 2017
* Karen Ristevski’s body found at Mount Macedon Regional Park
A hiker stumbled upon Karen’s body between two logs in the Mount Macedon National Park on February 20, 2017
March 6, 2017
* Funeral service held with husband Borce Ristevski a pallbearer, while daughter Sarah leads the procession
August 31, 2017
* Police recreate the journey of Ms Ristevski on the day she went missing in a black Mercedes, identical to hers
December 13, 2017
* Borce Ristevski charged with murder and faces court where a lawyer indicates a not-guilty plea. He is remanded in custody
April 18, 2018
* Ristevski returns to court where it’s revealed detectives tapped phone calls and planted listening devices as they investigated the alleged killing, compiling a 22,000-page evidence brief
* Ristevski is granted state-funded legal aid as he fights the allegations
Locked up: Borce Ristevski
March 12, 2019
* Prosecutors suffer a major setback.
A Supreme Court judge rules evidence about Ristevski’s conduct after Karen’s death could not be used as evidence of he had alleged ‘murderous intent’
March 13, 2019
* Ristevski’s charge is downgraded and he pleads guilty to Karen’s manslaughter death
April 18, 2019
* Ristevski is sentenced to a nine year jail term, with a six year non-parole period
May 13, 2019
* Prosecutors launch bid to increase Ristevski’s jail term, labelling his sentence ‘manifestly inadequate’.
His sentence is increased to 13 years, with a non-parole period of 10.
Source: AAP, Daily Mail Australia
Source: dailymail UK