The Star Entertainment Group executive chairman David Foster has admitted he should not have made “heat-of-the-moment” comments about the company’s special manager Nicholas Weeks and the NSW Independent Casino Commission.

The Star Entertainment Group

Speaking at the second inquiry into the Star’s alleged failings in New South Wales, Australia, Foster admitted he was “trigger-happy” in engaging with former Star CEO Robbie Cooke about the potential removal of Weeks from his role, and about “going to war” with the NICC.

Although, as reported by the Financial Review, Foster said his comments about Weeks were taken out of context and in fact related to “complexities” around Weeks’ roles at both The Star and the regulator.

Foster was speaking after emails and text messages between Foster and Cooke were read out at the inquiry last week. Foster and Cooke discussed a potential class action from shareholders to oust Weeks.

Weeks said last week: “I find it extraordinary that the chairman of a listed company and a CEO exchanging messages contemplating a class action from shareholders against me personally ... where their public position … is that they’re working co-operatively.”

In response, Foster said, as per the Financial Review, that the comments were based on “engagement and feedback” from investors, adding that a class action was a “bizarre” idea.

Foster, who has taken on more responsibility after Cooke left the company, also revealed that his former colleague was in fact asked to leave the company when he told employees it was his own decision.

The hearing also heard that Foster “stressed” that Cooke had nevertheless been "very accommodating and willing to leave at the request of the board.”