Tom Ballard denies sexual assault allegations

Tonightly host Tom Ballard has issued a denial following allegations published on social media about an incident in 2014.

He has denied allegations of sexual assault in an Adelaide hotel, published by a man on Facebook.

The complainant indicated he had spoken with police but that no action took place outside the law.

Ballard said on his website:

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

ABC has also issued a statement:

The ABC is aware of a claim made on social media against Tom Ballard. Tom has denied this claim in the strongest terms possible.

The ABC takes any allegation of harassment very seriously and does not condone or tolerate any inappropriate behaviour. All ABC employees are made aware of and must abide by our discrimination, bullying and harassment policy at all times.

We have no further comment to make at this stage.

Tonightly is due to return on Monday June 18.

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