SYDNEY — An Australian banker caught viewing risque photos of a top model on live TV can keep his job, the bank said, after the beauty backed an Internet campaign to support him.
Macquarie Bank said it had decided not to sack broker David Kiely following an internal review into the incident, in which he was shown clicking on semi-naked pictures of model Miranda Kerr in the background of a news story.
"He will remain an employee of Macquarie," the bank said in a brief statement late Friday.
"Macquarie and the employee apologise for any offence that may have been caused."
Kerr, a Victoria's Secret model, had earlier said she would happily sign a petition urging Macquarie not to fire Kiely, who was apparently unaware that a colleague behind him was doing a live interest rates interview when he opened the images.
Video of the gaffe generated hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube and inspired several Facebook pages supporting the banker, as well as a popular "Save Dave" campaign by London-based business website hereisthecity.com.
Support for Kiely has been growing on the Internet, with the membership of the "Macquarie -- Don't Fire David Kiely" Facebook group swelling to 1,344 members by Saturday morning.
The site says Kiely provided the human face of banking when he "did what any other person in his shoes would have done -- took some time out from his busy day to look at some harmless photos someone emailed him".
"What a legend. I love this guy," wrote one member.
Another wrote: "Even my Mum reckons you shouldn't lose your job and she's really harsh about lotsa stuff!!"
The group's creator Hayden Starkey welcomed Macquarie's decision to keep Kiely on.
"Great to see commonsense has prevailed in this day and age of political correctness!" he wrote.
"Congrats Dave, I hope you are enjoying your newfound fame."
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