Traumatised family told Shae Brider's X Factor role limited

SHAE Brider's appearance on The X Factor NZ will be "limited", says the traumatised family of the boy Brider was convicted of killing.

Donna Travers, whose son Jeremy Frew was killed by Brider in Wanganui in 2004, said the show's producers had contacted her on Thursday to apologise and tell her an apology would run on tomorrow and Monday's episodes.

"They indicated it [his appearance] will be limited but it's not about him appearing on the show, it's about what he said."

Brider, 29, was sentenced to eight years' jail for his part alongside three others in the killing of 16-year-old Jeremy.

TV3 screened his audition on Tuesday night featuring a back story segment where he revealed an incomplete and misleading version of events that has "traumatised" Jeremy's family, some of whom were watching the show unaware Brider would appear.

In the back story he said: "I met some dudes and we went to a bonfire," the Masterton man told the show. "There was a commotion with two of them and one of them stabbed the other one and he ended up passing away."

Ms Travers, who relocated to Australia following her sons' murder, complained to the show for airing the segment that downplayed Brider's involvement and did not mention the other three people the group had assaulted.

She said the family did not care Brider was on the show and believed he deserved a second chance after serving his sentence, but that producers should have ensured the facts were correct.

"Shae can go right through to the end of X Factor we don't care, we just don't want him to talk about the death and what happened that night incorrectly."

Ms Travers plans to seek legal advice on the matter.

Yesterday, the people behind The X Factor franchise admitted it was wrong to include a convicted killer on the New Zealand show and blamed producers for "a very poor editorial decision".

FremantleMedia and Simon Cowell's company Syco Entertainment, which own The X Factor, said they had had serious discussions with the producers of The X Factor NZ about Brider, and said "a more rigid approval process" has been introduced so that it wouldn't happen again.

A spokesman for FremantleMedia Australia told the Herald's Diary: "A very poor editorial decision was made by producers to include a hurtful backstory in a recent episode of The X Factor NZ.

"We unreservedly apologise for the pain this has caused. Moving forward, we have worked with The X Factor NZ producers to introduce a more rigid approval process designed to ensure such an error can not happen again."

Cowell's representative said on Thursday the TV mogul had no knowledge MediaWorks had used Brider and would be taking the matter "very seriously".

Cowell's company, Syco, told the Herald's Diary: "We have latterly been made aware of the situation and take this matter very seriously."

A clause in the contract held by Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia stipulates the show can't be brought into disrepute in accordance with the third-party license agreement. It is understood that special dispensation would have needed to be sought to use Brider, and MediaWorks failed to get permission.

Banished by Parole Board

Brider was banished from Wanganui by the Parole Board, and did not move to Masterton "out of respect" for his victim's family as he claimed on the show this week.

And a man Brider assaulted the same night he killed the 16-year-old has a message for the wannabe singer: "Don't ever bring up that tragic night's events again."

When Brider was released from prison after serving six years for the manslaughter of Jeremy Frew, 16, a number of conditions were imposed by the Parole Board, including not entering the Wanganui District.

On Tuesday's X Factor, Brider said he moved to Masterton after his release "out of respect" to his victim's family.

However, it was not Brider's decision to relocate. In January 2010 Brider was refused parole because he was considered to be an undue risk to the safety of the community. A year later the board agreed to release him, saying there was more virtue in his "getting back into the community as a law-abiding citizen" than keeping him behind bars. A condition of his parole was that he not enter the Wanganui district at any time.

The Herald has also learned that Brider twice spent time in prison in the two years before Mr Frew was killed.

Another potential hole in Brider's story was raised by his mother. On the show he spoke about his parents being "reasonably violent to each other and to me". His mother denied that claim in a social media post after the episode aired. "I didn't use [sic] 2 beat him up, the dreamer," she said.

Neither Brider nor his mother would comment.

Daniel Gray was assaulted by Brider and three others shortly before Mr Frew was stabbed to death. He felt Brider had "paid his dues" but was unimpressed by his television spiel.

"What was broadcast was not forthcoming of the actual events leading to Brider's convictions and incarceration. The details aired were an extremely dimmed-down version of events and was distasteful, to say the least ."

He did not want Brider to fail in life but asked that he be honest in future and respect his victims.

Jeremy's sister Jodie, who was watching The X Factor when Brider appeared, said his story was full of "half-truths" and minimised his involvement in her younger brother's death. "If you're going to own up to something like that, own all of it."

Shae Brider on X Factor

What he said:
• On X Factor: "I met some dudes and we went to a bonfire," the Masterton man told the show. "There was a commotion with two of them and one of them stabbed the other one and he ended up passing away."

• To NZME.: "I've done everything I can to be respectful to the family. I took myself away from my home town in order to give them space, and I've never gone back there because of that."

What court documents show:

• He was one of four charged with 16-year-old Jeremy Frew's death after what the judge described as a "rampage of violence" where the group also assaulted Daniel Grey, Greg Parnell and Robert Kerrigan earlier on the same night.

• Brider punched Frew through a car window and then yelled out to his co-attackers to warn them the police were on their way.

- Additional reporting Rachel Glucina and Anna Leask

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