BusinessMay 7, 2022

A leaked internal memo claims Simon Henry has apologised to Nadia Lim. She’s heard nothing


An internal memo authored by DGL boss Simon ‘Eurasian fluff’ Henry and supplied to The Spinoff claims he’s apologised to Nadia Lim. But the My Food Bag founder says she’s heard nothing. Stewart Sowman-Lund reports. 

The head of chemicals manufacturer DGL, Simon Henry, has finally acknowledged the appalling comments he made about My Food Bag’s founder Nadia Lim. But despite claiming he’s apologised to her, Lim says she’s yet to hear anything from Henry. 

A memo sent by the DGL boss to his staff was leaked to The Spinoff, in which he says the language he used to describe Lim was “unacceptable”. During a recent NBR profile, Henry labelled Lim “Eurasian fluff” and claimed she was using her “sensuality” to sell My Food Bag shares. 

“I can tell you, and you can quote me, when you’ve got Nadia Lim, when you’ve got a little bit of Eurasian fluff in the middle of your prospectus with a blouse unbuttoned showing some cleavage, and that’s what it takes to sell your scrip, then you know you’re in trouble,” he said. 

In the memo, dated May 6, Henry said: “You may be aware that recently I have been heavily criticised in the media about some disparaging remarks I recently made about Nadia Lim, a NZ based chef.”

He continued: “The language I used to describe her is unacceptable. I have written to her today to formally apologise.”

Part of a memo shared with The Spinoff

Despite this, Lim told The Spinoff she had not heard from Henry. “That’s very weird,” she said, when told of the memo and the fact she should have been contacted. “I don’t need an apology though, it’s the people… who experience this kind of stuff on a frequent basis over time, that do.” A My Food Bag spokesperson also confirmed that no contact had been made between Henry and Lim. 

In the memo, Henry said he had learnt “a lot” from the events of the past few days. “I am fully committed to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” he concluded.

A statement from DGL’s board released to media late on Friday evening also claimed Henry had attempted to make contact with Lim.  “The board considers the comments made to be completely inappropriate, unacceptable and offensive. Mr Henry agrees and has expressed genuine regret for his comments. He has apologised to Ms Lim,” the statement reads.

“Understanding also that his comments are contrary to the culture of respect, diversity and inclusion encouraged and expected at DGL Group, Mr Henry has apologised to DGL’s board, staff and, by extension, to other stakeholders for any offence caused.

“The board will be taking steps to ensure there is no repeat of this incident.”

The possible miscommunication could be due to the method of Henry’s apology. A DGL spokesperson told Stuff that Henry had sent his message via courier after failing to make contact over the phone. “Simon intends to send the same apology to Nadia by text and is hopeful of speaking to her in person, at her convenience.”

DGL has been approached by The Spinoff for further comment.

Henry’s comments to the NBR and the furore surrounding them have dominated headlines this week, after The Spinoff editor Madeleine Chapman drew wider attention to them in a column. While initially reluctant to publicly comment, Lim said in a Facebook post yesterday it was worth speaking up. “It’s not about me, it’s about standing up for and protecting those at risk of hurtful actions like this,” she wrote.

“Over time, lots of little can add up and have damaging effects. My dad used to get it A LOT when I was growing up, however he’d always put on a brave face and brush it off, but even when I was as young as 4-5 years old I could see the hurt in his eyes.”

Multiple investment firms have placed DGL on a banned list since Henry’s comments. The company’s market capitalisation has tumbled by over $150 million since his comments became widely known.

Know more? stewart@thespinoff.co.nz

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