Comedian and former triple j radio host Tom Ballard has released a statement denying allegations of sexual assault that have recently been brought against him.
As Fairfax notes, an unnamed individual took to Facebook yesterday to claim that he was indecently assaulted by Tom Ballard in a hotel room back in June of 2014.
While the Tonightly host admits that he had been aware of this claim for “the past six months”, it wasn’t until Saturday that the allegation was made public.
In response to these allegations, Tom Ballard took to his website to issue an official response to the claims that had been brought against him.
“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,” wrote Ballard.
— Tom Ballard (@TomCBallard) June 9, 2018
“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,” he continued. “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.”
As Fairfax explains, the man making these claims wrote in his post on social media that he had contacted the police about the incident, though they were unable to investigate because Ballard “hadn’t gone outside of the confines of the law”.
“This false claim has been spread via social media, text messages and gossip,” continued Ballard. “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,” he concluded. “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.”
Neither Tom Ballard or the ABC, who broadcasts his Tonightly program, have made any further statement in regards to the allegations or Ballard’s statement.