Dealing with Celebrity Sex Offenders

When a celebrity is a sex offender, the victim doesn’t have the option of simply avoiding them.

I turned on the TV this morning, and as I was flicking through channels, Robert’s face popped up.

After leaving Hey Dad..! he mainly did voice over work, but he had a tiny part in a C grade movie called Race The Sun. It was about a group of Hawaiian kids who built a solar car. Anyway, since it’s an American movie that was filmed in Australia, they play it here, and it means that when I am randomly flicking through channels, I am subjected to hearing his voice, and seeing his face. Even though I no longer live in Australia, there’s still the potential of me having to see him, when I least expect it.

Thankfully, I’m pretty good at dealing with it. It’s not really a huge trigger for me anymore. (Well, today was ok) But it got me thinking about all the other people out there who are unable to avoid their perps, and how there’s always debate about celebrity sex offenders, and whether they should be allowed to continue to work.

It’s a tough question. I think it’s a shame for an entire body of work to be wiped from history simply because one person in the production was a terrible human being. Should all the cast from 7th Heaven never receive royalty cheques again because the dad molested a few girls? Should Hey Dad be wiped from TV because of Robert? What about the Cosby Show? Can we no longer listen to Six White Boomers at Xmas because of Rolf Harris? Should we avoid all movies directed by Roman Polanski, Woody Allan, Victor Salva and Bryan Singer?

I think each person has to decide for themselves. I thought 7th Heaven was cheesey, I never watched myself on Hey Dad, and Cosby always gave me the shits. However, millions of other people loved these shows. But, what about the other cast members. Is it their fault that the male stars here thought they were above the law, and didn’t keep their perverted sexual desires in check? Are we punishing an entire production by boycotting a show because of one person? Sometimes I feel like it’s not fair to the other people associated with a show. I think it’s not fair to Simone Buchanan and Ben Oxenbould that they can’t proudly display Hey Dad clips on their resumes because of something that Robert Hughes did. I feel bad for 7th Heaven cast members who rely on that residual income. I feel sorry for The Cosby kids who have to answer questions about Cosby when they’re trying to do interviews about something completely unrelated.

Then, Robert pops up on my TV.


My brain goes from trying to be the impartial person, right back to seeing it from the view of anyone who has dealt with a celebrity sex offender. Even when I move overseas, I may still be subjected to seeing that trigger. Anyone who has dealt with a celebrity sex offender could be subjected to their attacker at any point. Even if they avoid their movies, or make a point not to turn on the TV when their show is on, at any point, while flicking through channels, that person could pop up. It might be on E! News, or a TV commercial, or on a random talk show. The only thing the person can do, besides refusing to watch any form of media, is to learn to deal with the trigger. Some people can, and some can’t. Some people need more time, and some don’t have access to the resources that will help them heal from that trauma.

So what’s the answer? I’m not really sure. Maybe there’s a balance. I think that while old stuff, pre-knowledge of sexual offending might be OK to keep showing, for the sake of other actors/crew, and let the public decide if they want to watch, I think that going forward, the offender should be barred from more public work. If you’re a celebrity sex offender, you shouldn’t get to keep putting your name out there. You shouldn’t be able to keep putting your face on TV, or work in movies. You shouldn’t be allowed to be glamorized, and continue to work in the industry. You shouldn’t be rewarded, while your victims have to keep seeing your face, or your name, or hear your voice, over and over, forever and ever.

It’s not just for the victims of these celebrities, but for anyone who was a victim of anyone. Seeing someone convicted of a sex crime be rewarded with work, or strutting down a red carpet sends a horrible message to victims everywhere. While the victim lives with the act forever, and has to learn to heal, the perp is out and about, living a glamorous life, being glorified, and everyone forgiving them. It doesn’t inspire victims to speak up, or try to do anything about their molester. Why bother going through the drama of police investigation, court, etc if the person if just going to go straight back to normal life afterwards? As much as I hate that we all look to Hollywood for life inspiration, we do. If people see that celebrity sex offenders aren’t punished, people will wonder what chance they have of their own perps getting punished, celebrity or not.

Even if I was still working in the industry, I would choose not to work with a sex offender. I would never make a film with Roman Polanski or Woody Allan, or even alleged sex offender Bryan Singer. That’s something that each person still working in the industry has to decide for themselves, but I know where I stand.

What about you? Do you think there’s an answer? How would you deal with it? Let them keep working, boycott all their work? Would you work with a celebrity sex offender on a production? Is art more important? Or are victims the priority? Is there a balance?



What will he get?

I’m sitting on my couch in my RV, watching a show on E! about how celebrities cover up scandals. It’s showing how if you’ve got enough money, you can cover up almost anything, which I’ve seen first hand. More scary though, is how even after the scandals are exposed, people forgive them because, well, they’re famous. Look at Roman Polanski, OJ Simpson, Kobe Bryant, Mike Tyson. All violent offenders, and yet, still fawned over. How many people need to say they were molested by Michael Jackson before someone is believed? How many pedophiles are running around Hollywood, molesting kids, and nobody will talk about it? When people like Corey Feldman talk, they’ve got people like Barbara Walters accusing him of ruining an entire industry. Yeah Babs, go ahead and blame the victim. I’m so glad she’s retiring.

I’m pretty lucky I was given the opportunity to speak out. I didn’t want to when I was first asked. I had long left the industry, and didn’t want to be dredging up old shit. But when one of the kids in my class had an incident, it made me so mad. It was like all the rage I had buried came flooding back to the surface. When Stephen contacted me again, I knew I had to talk. People who are still working aren’t going to talk. It’s a career killer. I didn’t have a career, so I didn’t have anything to lose. Or so I thought…

Im not going to sugar coat it. The last 4 years have been tough. First, I had to think about everything I had tried to forget. I had to deal with the emotions of seeing all the people from the past again. Of seeing people who let it happen as a kid because they liked working suddenly popping up wanting to say something now like they care. Or worse, saying “Oh I had no idea.”

I feel bad for people who had to deal with me over those 4 years. Poor Stephen copped a lot of shit from me. Many days I resented him for bringing all this up. He was always super brutally honest with me, and some days I just wasn’t up for it. Sorry Stephen…. I am grateful to you, please know that.

The other thing I am grateful for, is that since my case has been so public, I know, or at least I really hope, that nobody will ever let Robert near their kids again. In Texas, Robert would be put on a publicly accessible sex offender registry. Anyone who cared to see if there was an offender near them would see his name, face and charges.  I feel bad for people in Australia who don’t get to know what kinds of creepers live next door.

I was so happy to help Derryn with his Megan’s Law campaign. I would desperately like to see a public sex offender registry implemented in Australia. I think it very fitting that the day after Robert is sentenced, Derryn will be starting his Walk For Justice.

If you haven’t signed the petition yet, please do so.
Here is Derryn’s schedule for his walk, in case you’d like to join him.

Day One: Saturday, May 17th
Start: 7.30a.m. Langi Kal Kal Prison gates, Langi Kal Kal Rd, Trawalla.
Finish: 9.30 a.m. National Highway A8 at Blackbottom Road.
Start: 3.30p.m. National Highway A8 at Blackbottom Road.
Finish:5.30p.m. National Highway A8, Burrambeet Road, Burrambeet.

Day Two: Sunday, May 18th
Start:  7.30a.m.   National Highway A8, Burrambeet Road.
Finish: 9.30 a.m.  Remembrance Drive  C805 at White’s Road.
Start: 3.30p.m. Remembrance Drive at White’s Road.
Finish: 5.30p.m. Sturt Street  & Pleasant St, Ballarat.

Day Three: Monday, May 19th
Start: 7.30a.m. Sturt St.  & Pleasant St, Ballarat.
Finish: 9.30 a.m.  Victoria St. & Boundary Rd, Ballarat.
Start: 3.30p.m. Victoria St. & Boundary Rd., Ballarat.
Finish: 5.30p.m. Lesters Rd  & Triggs Rd, Bungaree.

Day Four: Tuesday, May 20th
Start: 7.30a.m. Lesters Rd & Triggs Rd, Bungaree.
Finish: 9.30a.m. Main St. & Old Western Hwy, Gordon.
Start: 3.30p.m. Main St. & Old Western Hwy, Gordon.
Finish: 5.30p.m. Old Melbourne Rd and Old Geelong Rd. Crossroads Trading.

Day Five: Wednesday, May 21st
Start: 7.30a.m. Old Melbourne Rd and Old Geelong Rd.
Finish: 9.30a.m. Ingliston Rd & Ingliston-Settlement Rd.
Start: 3.30p.m. Ingliston Rd & Ingliston-Settlement Rd.
Finish: 5.30p.m. Ironbark Rd and McCormack Rd.

Day Six: Thursday, May 22nd
Start: 7.30a.m. Ironbark Rd and McCormack Rd.
Finish: 9.30a.m. Avenue Motel, 272 Main St. Bacchus Marsh
Start: 3.30p.m. Avenue Motel, 272 Main St. Bacchus Marsh
Finish: 5.30p.m. High St & Bulman’s Rd, Melton.

Day Seven: Friday, May 23rd
Start: 7.30a.m. High St & Bulman’s Rd, Melton.
Finish: 9.30a.m. Melton Hwy & Leakes Rd.
Start: 3.30p.m. Melton Hwy &Leakes Rd.
Finish: 5.30p.m. Melton Hwy & King’s Rd. Sydenham.

Day Eight: Saturday, May 24th
Start: 7.30a.m. Melton Hwy & King’s Rd. Sydenham.
Finish: 9.30a.m. Keilor Park Drive (BP) & Fullarton Rd. Keilor
Start: 3.30p.m. Keilor Park Drive (BP) & Fullarton Rd. Keilor
Finish:5.30p.m.St.Monica’s Church, Mount Alexander Rd, Essendon.

Day Nine: Sunday, May 25th
Start: 7.30a.m. St. Monica’s Church, Mount Alexander Rd, Essendon.
Finish: 8.30a.m. Sydney Rd & Victoria St., Brunswick.

Day Ten: Monday, May 26th
Start: 10.30a.m. Sydney Rd &Victoria St., Brunswick.
Finish:12.20p.m. Parliament House, Spring St., MELBOURNE!

I’ll be interested to see what Judge Zahra gives Robert. He can only sentence him based on what he would have received back in the day. I know it will be a dreadfully small sentence. Hopefully it will point out just how far we have come, and how we’ve come to recognize that those old sentences just didn’t do justice to the crime at all.

Whatever the outcome, I think there are many girls sitting at home, grateful we’ve made it this far. Grateful we were finally listened to, that he was charged. We are stronger for having faced him. Court was brutal, but we made it through. We can make it through anything after that.



Victim Impact Statements

Sentencing and Victim Impact statements

I was watching twitter last night, waiting to see details of what I would be missing in court. I’m back in Texas, and couldn’t attend the start of the sentencing. I had only written my Victim Impact Statement several hours before, and emailed it to the DPP. I had been putting it off. It was incredibly hard to write. Way more confronting than what I expected. I left me feeling raw and exposed. It was a big milestone for me though, because I actually asked one of the people in my office, a former police officer, if I should write it at all, and when he said yes, I took a deep breath and asked if he would help. I’m not good at asking for help. He knew how hard that was for me. He warned me that it was going to be tough, because this wasn’t so much about Robert, as it was a confession to myself. It was going to be hard admitting all those feelings on paper, to say that it has affected me. I’ve been good at hiding it and pretending everything is OK. I had to actually sit down and really think about the ways Robert has changed my life, and acknowledge it.

I only wrote 2.5 pages. My 1SG only had me change a couple words, and flip one sentence, and thought it was good. I didn’t show it to anyone else here though. I worried about it being read out in court. They all were, and while I was worried, I think afterwards I was glad people could see what an impact Robert has had on all of us. I was reading the live tweets. I was outside with Matt, and all he heard was, “Oh God”, and turned around to see a tear rolling down my eye. I read him the line from one of the other girls. santatweetIt says, “As a child, I never wanted Santa to come into my room at night to leave presents”

I think this may be one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. I don’t believe in God, but I love Santa. To think a child was so terrified of people they didn’t even want Santa to come at Christmas is just fucking heartbreaking. I’m sure Robert is too arrogant to care that he broke little pieces off all of us, but I hope he was listening yesterday. I hope when he gets back to prison, he understand our words. I hope he comes to understand the meaning of No Means No, and what it’s like to be terrified of being assaulted by someone else who is higher up the food chain in prison.

I was watching the tweets, and Jodie told me “Very intense stuff. Lots of parallels between different victims’ statements re: effects and feelings”.  One man had such a profound effect on so many people. I wonder how many other girls he has destroyed. There were more of us. Some came forward and couldn’t get charges, some chose not to be a part of the process.  Some are still living in denial, because that’s easier for them. I won’t judge anyone. People have to deal with it the best way they know how.

While Robert wasn’t sentenced yesterday – he comes back on the 16th for the final sentencing, Max Clifford also went to court yesterday.

He was sentenced. He has been given eight years. Max’s charges were also historical, and much shorter than if he were to be charged for offenses now. It was interesting to read snippets of the statements that were given in his case too. I had stated that because of Robert, I could never go back to the industry. One of Max’s victims had similar sentiments: A woman who appeared as an extra in the James Bond film Octopussy had given up on pursuing her career after she was abused in the early 1980s, the court heard. “She aspired to be a stunt double in films but could not follow her dream after what happened to her,” Ms Cottage told the court.

Both sets of girls told of how they would never forget what happened, how they had been robbed of their innocence. How they had their happiness stolen from them. I’m glad that laws have changed, and that sentences are longer now. Victims have to live with it forever. Why should the bastards only get a couple of years?

I told Matt yesterday I just wanted this to all be over. I don’t want to wait another 2 weeks. He said it’s been 4 years, what’s another 2 weeks? I know in the long term, it won’t make much difference. Maybe it’s good, because now Robert has 2 weeks to sit in his cell and think about all the things we said. But I do look forward to when I don’t have to worry about seeing it on the news. When I don’t have to sit glued to my desk, watching it all unfold. I know I could just step back, but I can’t. I know that Robert will always have a part of my soul, but I’ll be glad when he no longer has a part of my daily dealings with life. I’m sure there’s a few of us that are looking forward to the 16th. I know he won’t get a long sentence. It’s all historical. I do hope they give him the maximums for those old sentences though. Maybe then, he can live the rest of his life being affected by us, they way we’ll all have to carry a piece of him to our graves.


To support or not to support?

How do people react to pedophiles?

It’s been interesting watching people react to all the celebrity pedophiles in court lately. An article came out yesterday that showed a stark difference between two cases.

Max-CliffordMax Clifford, the celebrity publicist who was found guilty of eight counts of abuse has been dropped like  a hot potato by his clients. Even before he was found guilty, people distanced themselves from him. When the verdict came down, plenty more dumped him. The Guardian reports:

The X Factor boss Simon Cowell and Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis have severed ties with Max Clifford over the celebrity publicist’s convictions for sexually assaulting teenage girls.

During the trial, Clifford told journalists the trial had cost his PR agency about £1m in lost business. He conceded this month that a conviction would mean “at least a couple of clients will no longer be clients because [they are assisted] by me hands-on” – one of these is Cowell.

The company, which he founded at the beginning of the 1970s and has an all-female staff of eight, moved from its Mayfair headquarters to a more modest office in Weybridge, Surrey, last month in a sign that Clifford was dealing with the financial burden of an expensive criminal trial.

Now in contrast to that is the case against Robert Hughes.

Some of the world’s biggest stars are standing by Australian power agent Robyn Gardiner in the aftermath of the conviction of her husband, Robert Hughes, for child sex abuse. With Hughes awaiting sentencing on 10 counts of sexual and ­indecent assault of young girls, Sydney Confidential understands that Gardiner’s Sydney-based agency RGM, founded as Robyn Gardiner Management in 1982, has not lost a single client.

Granted, his wife Robyn isn’t the one being charged, but it’s been shown she knew about the abuse. She then went on the stand and lied robyn-robertabout another woman, the mother of one of the victims, claiming she had tried to have a lesbian relationship with her. She got evidence mixed up, as it came out, because she had been reading all the evidence the lawyer had, including witness statements and also the newspaper everyday, which she’s not supposed to do, as a witness. She assisted in trying to get a pedophile found innocent. People seem to forget that all their commissions paid to her helped to pay his defense lawyers…. So by keeping her as your agent, you assisted in his defense, and when he appeals, your commission check will also help to pay for that.

Much respect to those stars in England who have chosen to step up and do the right thing. My hats off to you. To those in Australia who choose to stay where you’re at, please understand when I don’t watch anything you’re in. I won’t contribute to his defense fund.




Guilty in a court of law!


Well, it’s been a very long time coming, but the jury has found Robert guilty on 10 counts.

It’s been a very difficult few years, and the trial was very emotionally draining. I started on Friday afternoon and finished on Wednesday afternoon on the stand. Even though I only had the one charge, I guess his lawyer focused on me, since I was the one who brought the situation public. In the end, it was worth it, because now he’s in prison, awaiting his sentencing.

I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone involved in the case. The members of Strike Force Ruskin, the DPPs office, the wonderful women who volunteer their time at the VWCCS. I’d like to thank the jury who really paid attention during the case, and asked questions, before making a decision.

I want to thank Ben and Simone for backing me up. I know the last four years have been hard for you, and now that it’s over, I hope the industry rewards you for being good people. Also to the other cast and crew who took the stand to give evidence.

I’d like to thank Steve Jackson and Woman’s Day for doing the original article, and I’m forever grateful to Tracy Grimshaw and Ben McCormack for all your investigative journalism and keeping with the story for four years. Also to all the production team, who worked so hard behind the scenes.

I know that my case was not unique; there are others out there in the industry who have been affected, and other predators are being protected. Hopefully though, now more people will have the courage to speak up. Don’t stay silent. You never know how many other people are in the same situation, and you also don’t know how many have already been to the police.

It’s been a long hard journey, but in the end, it was worth it.