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Friday, August 10, 2012

Robert Hughes, star of Hey Dad arrested

Sarah Monahan told A Current Affair in March 2010 that the star of the television series Hey Dad had sexually abused her for seven years.  "I guess I was the smallest and I know I wasn't the only one, but the others are still not going to speak about it" she said.

Years of abuse sent her almost to the brink.  "I remember at school they actually demanded that I see a psychiatrist, in art classes I could draw perfect penises and they were like, there's something wrong with this girl drawing stuff like that at such a early age, I think I was at the point where I was probably suicidal."

"They said they didn't know, but they knew, and it was always kept quiet because it was the most successful show on television and people don't want to know that" she said.   The abuse began when she was six and continued until she was thirteen, when she had enough courage to tell him to stop.  Once he realized he'd lost control, he turned nasty and said she was fat and ugly.

Former executive producer Gary Reilly said he had no knowledge of what was going on but he did hear rumours about what was happening to another child actor and she was given a chaperone.  Monahan who now lives in the US said she hopes Hughes "burns in hell" for what he did.

In 2010, when confronted by A Current Affair, Hughes said "I am absolutely shocked and surprised by the allegation and I categorically deny the allegation, it never happened, and the entire matter is now in the hands of my lawyers."  A police spokesman at the time said that there were no other complaints against Hughes but urged other victims and those with any information to come forward.

And come forward they did.  After a long investigation, Hughes was arrested yesterday in the UK and is currently on bail waiting to be extradicted back to Sydney.  Last night Sarah Monahan tweeted "crying with happiness right now, it's 3am and my Twitter box is exploding."

Sex Crimes Squad Commander Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec said police spoke to 200 people during the investigation.  "Sexual assault leaves enormous scars on people" he said.

Edit January 29, 2013:  Robert Hughes briefly attended Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court today.  He is yet to enter any plea to 11 child sexual assault offences dating from 1984. He was heckled by several bystanders as he left the court. The case was adjourned until March 5. 2013