Infamous radio personality and former Rugby Union and Rugby League coach Alan Jones has been accused of indecently assaulting young men – using his position of power to grope or inappropriately touch them without consent.
Please note: This article discusses themes of sexual assault that may be distressing to some readers.
In a significant investigation, The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Kate McClymont has uncovered multiple allegations against influential broadcaster Alan Jones during his controversial radio career.
The key allegations, which Jones strongly denies, come from a former 2GB employee who has accused Jones of indecent assault said that what Jones did to him was a criminal offence. “If I went to the police, Jones could be charged… He cannot die without people knowing what he’s done”.
When Brad Webster was just 20, he began working for the successful radio host at Sydney’s 2GB. Webster’s name is an alias as he does not want his real name permanently linked with Jones. At the time, Jones was a potent force in Australia. “He was more powerful than the prime minister,” Webster said. “He could pick up the phone to John Howard and demand for things to be done”.
As a self-professed, quiet, shy young man, Webster was happy to start at the bottom and work his way up, willing to do every “shit job” that came his way. This included driving Jones home from 2GB‘s Pyrmont studios to his Circular Quay apartment.
“During those 10 minutes, it would be wandering hands, and then it just gradually became him grabbing my dick. And he would go for it,” said Webster, demonstrating the vigorous rubbing of his penis. “It was horrible.”
“He knew I wasn’t gay, so it was about power dynamics. I would be driving and he would have put his hand on my leg, and then you’d sort of push his hand away, just try and wriggle out. But you’re driving; you’re absolutely trapped … he’d go the grope, he’d rub my penis”.
Webster would then have to carry Jones’ bags up to his apartment. He alleges that when he was in the lift, Jones would corner him and forcibly kiss him on the lips. With a bag in each hand, Webster was not able to fend him off. “I’d be in the corner standing like that [demonstrating his arms by his side], and he would come over to me and kiss me on the mouth,” he said.
“If a 65-year-old man had pushed a 20-year-old woman into the corner of a lift and began to kiss them non-consensually, what do we call that? We call that assault. That’s what he did to me”.
Webster describes feeling helpless when in the presence of someone with as much power as Jones had at the time. Webster also explains how Jones could be overwhelmingly generous, showering him with gifts. “With the benefit of hindsight, I now see it as grooming,” he alleged.
The alleged assault even extended into the workplace, with under-the-table groping occurring at several staff functions. The impact of this was underwhelming, with other staff members allegedly mocking the abuse. “And then afterward – and this stuff made me angry – they would take the piss out of what just happened. Like, ‘Oh, did you enjoy that?’”
It was the fear of Jones, who is now 82 years of age, dying without the world knowing what he had done that encouraged Webster to finally come forward. He is also now the father of a son, and said that if someone did to his son what Jones had done to him, “I’d hate to think what I’d be capable of”.
Webster is not the first to accuse Jones of indecent assault. Alexander Hartman, a late businessman, also commented to four separate journalists before his death. In the remarks, he outlined his desire for justice. “I was his prey … I know I am not the only one, and this will come out somehow,” Hartman said. “He forces himself on young men and uses his power in a predatory way”.
Another man claimed that a drunk Jones assaulted him while he was working as a server in a restaurant. “He didn’t look around to see if someone was watching. He just went straight for my penis”. An aspiring musician also described how he was “scared shitless” when Jones allegedly pounced on him and began kissing him.
The Sydney Morning Herald sent Jones a list of detailed questions via law firm Mark O’Brien Legal. Jones’ lawyers responded: “Our client denies ever having indecently assaulted the persons referred to in your letter, and your suggestion that he has is scandalous, grossly offensive and seriously defamatory of him”.
In NSW, a person who sexually touches or kisses another person without their consent is guilty of an offence, the maximum penalty for which can be up to five years imprisonment.
Jones is renowned for his strong and often controversial opinions. He was a significant name in Australian talk-back radio from starting on 2UE in 1985 to his retirement from 2GB in 2020. At the time of his retirement, Jones cited ill health as the reason for his leaving. However, many news outlets reported that the change was a forced resignation in response to negative comments about former NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. From 2013, Jones also appeared on Sky News’ Jones & Co but in 2021 his contract was not renewed.
If you or someone you know is struggling, help is always available. To speak to a Lifeline Crisis Supporter, phone 13 11 14. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Domain’s chief marketing officer (CMO), Rebecca Darley, said that without Tealium’s customer data platform (CDP), her business would not have been able to achieve the personalised marketing success that has made it one of the leaders in data-driven marketing in Australia. Speaking at an exclusive breakfast event hosted by B&T at Sydney’s swish harbourside restaurant, […]
Man of Many in partnership with NBC Universal, stages an atmosphere of elegance for Sydney premiere of ‘Argylle’ film. Independent lifestyle publication digital publication, Man of Many, has shown its innovative approach to event management in the premiere of ‘Argylle’ at Hoyts Cinema in Sydney’s entertainment quatre. Over 400 guests were included in the films […]