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Tom Ballard Strongly Denies Sexual Assault Allegation Made Against Him

Written by Jackson Langford on June 11, 2018

CONTENT WARNING: The following article discusses alleged sexual assault

Tom Ballard, former triple j host and current host of ABC’s Tonightly, has fervently denied the allegation of sexual assault against him that has surfaced this weekend.

The accuser, who shared the allegation on Facebook, claims that the alleged incident happened four years ago, in a hotel room. “Today is the 9th of June 2018, which marks four years since Tom Ballard, host of the ABC television show Tonightly, indecently assaulted me,” the accuser wrote.

He details the alleged incident, saying that he and Ballard were enjoying a glass of wine before things took a turn.

“I left eventually, as politely as I could, but not before he had placed my hand on his penis and placed his mouth on mine, and not before being placed face forward against a counter and desperately turning around,” the statement read.

He also goes on to detail how he believes that Australia’s defamation laws have prevented the #MeToo movement from taking off here like it has in America.

“Defamation laws in Australia are among the strictest in the world, to the extent that in some cases victims are sued by their rapists for telling people the truth of what happened between them,” he said.

“Within this country, if powerful figures are to be held accountable, the onus truly and unfairly is placed on victims to get their stories out there by whatever means are available. That is of course at terrible, terrible risk to themselves.”

The accuser also says that he brought the claim to police, but it wasn’t investigated any further.

Tom Ballard has released a statement via his website that fervently and strongly denies the allegations of assault, saying that the experience was completely consensual.

“Four years ago I had a consensual sexual experience with someone,” Ballard said. “I had absolutely no idea he believed it wasn’t consensual until six months ago. His version of that experience as described on social media is simply not what happened.

“This false claim has been spread via social media, text messages and gossip. It has been deeply distressing for me, my friends and my family. It has affected my work and my mental health.”

He then went on to express his support for the #MeToo movement.

“I abhor sexual assault and sexual violence. I absolutely support the philosophy of the #MeToo movement: I believe in supporting victims and ensuring those who have done wrong face justice. But I have not done anything wrong. Any suggestion otherwise is false, deeply distressing and unhelpful.”

You can read Ballard’s full statement below.

If you need assistance, 1800 RESPECT – the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service — can be reached on 1800 737 732.

For help or information regarding mental health, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

Tom Ballard’s full statement:

“Hello.

As a comedian, I am no fan of being taken seriously. But today is an exception. This is an extremely difficult statement for me to write, but it’s necessary.

Over the past six months I have become aware of a claim being made about me. It involves an allegation of sexual assault: an allegation that I completely deny in the strongest terms possible. It fundamentally goes against who I am as a person and everything I believe in. Today that claim was aired publicly.

Four years ago I had a consensual sexual experience with someone. I had absolutely no idea he believed it wasn’t consensual until six months ago. His version of that experience as described on social media is simply not what happened.

This false claim has been spread via social media, text messages and gossip. It has been deeply distressing for me, my friends and my family. It has affected my work and my mental health.

I abhor sexual assault and sexual violence. I absolutely support the philosophy of the #MeToo movement: I believe in supporting victims and ensuring those who have done wrong face justice. But I have not done anything wrong. Any suggestion otherwise is false, deeply distressing and unhelpful.

Thank you for reading this.

Tom”

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