Culture

Tom Ballard Has Strongly Denied A Sexual Assault Claim Made Against Him

"It fundamentally goes against who I am as a person."

Tom Ballard, host of the ABC’s Tonightly, has strongly denied an accusation that he indecently assaulted someone four years ago.

In a recently released statement, Ballard said the allegation “fundamentally goes against who I am as a person and everything I believe in.”

Ballard said he has known about the allegation for six months. Yesterday, the accuser put up a Facebook post that detailed the allegation.

“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 post begins.

The post argues that defamation laws were stopping Australia from having its #MeToo moment, before recounting details from the night of the alleged assault.

The alleged victim claims that Ballard forcibly kissed him and placed the accuser’s hand on Ballard’s penis.

The post recounts that the claim was brought to the police, but that they did not investigate further. According to Fairfax, the complaint was levelled against Ballard by an aspiring comedian.

Ballard is the host of Tonightly, a weeknight comedy show that has just been renewed for a second season. The show includes skits, interviews, and monologues that riff of the news of the day.

The ABC told Fairfax that they were aware of the allegations, and did not condone any inappropriate behaviour.

Check out Ballard’s statement in full here:

“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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