Tom Ballard has made a statement strongly denying accusations of indecent assault, after allegations arose relating to an incident in a hotel room in 2014.
Over the weekend, the alleged victim, whose name has not been made public, shared an account of his experience on social media. Ballard then shared a statement of his own to his website.
He said that the statement was an “extremely difficult” but necessary thing to write. It began:
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.
The substance of the allegation remains unclear, but the comedian denied it in his statement, saying:
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.
According to reports in Fairfax, the allegation was made by an aspiring comedian, who says he went to police after the June 2014 incident, but they did not investigate further as Ballard “hadn’t gone outside of the confines of the law”.
Tom Ballard is a former triple j breakfast host who currently appears on Tonightly on The ABC. Neither he nor the network have made any further comment since the publishing of his statement.Image: Getty Images / Don Arnold