POPULAR comedian and broadcaster Tom Ballard has published a statement denying claims he sexually assaulted an aspiring comedian.
A man took to social media on Saturday, alleging Ballard had indecently assaulted him in a hotel room in June 2014.
Ballard, host of ABC TV’s Tonightly, said on his website: “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,” said in the statement.
“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 added.
The man complained to police, but he claims the investigation didn’t go further because Ballard “hadn’t gone outside of the confines of the law”.
In his statement, Ballard said: “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, a former Triple J host, added: “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.”
Police have been contacted for comment.