Tom Ballard strongly denies sexual assault allegations

ABC TV presenter Tom Ballard has denied he sexually assaulted an aspiring comedian four years ago and said hearing the allegation had been a distressing experience.

In a statement posted on his website Ballard said he became aware of the accusation about six months ago, but had decided to make a public statement after the allegations were posted on social media.

“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.” Ballard said.

“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.” Ballard said.

Ballard who hosts the ABC comedy program Tonightly said he had done nothing wrong.

“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.”

In a post to social media, the man accusing Ballard of an unwanted advance said the incident occurred in a hotel room in 2014 and he visited police several days later and was told that nothing could be done because no laws had been broken.

The ABC has also released a statement saying it was aware of the allegation and took the issue seriously.

“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.” the broadcaster said.

Ballard’s TV show Tonightly was recently renewed for a second season and it is due to recommence on Monday 18th June.

OIP Staff

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