Kyle Sandilands: Girl’s rape revelation stunned me

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Kyle Sandilands

There have only been a few occasions in my whole career that I’ve been sideswiped by something. When faced with a situation like what happened today, when a girl revealed live on air that she had been raped when she was 12, you react like anyone else. I was horrified.

We have had the lie detector thing on regularly for about six years. It’s a semi-regular segment on the show. We check with the mother before hand, and go through the questions they want asked.

I’m in New Zealand this week and all I have is a microphone, a computer screen, and a camera that relays back to Jackie and the producers in the studio.

The mum hadn’t said anything about the rape. She was concerned that her daughter was on drugs or was sexually active. Like a lot of mothers worried about their kid, she just wanted to find out what was going on.

She put her on and at the second question the girl said she had been raped when she was 12.

We were stunned.

To tell you the truth I was floundering around, signalling to the producers and Jackie – down the camera – indicating that we had to get it off air.

I didn’t realise I had said “Have you had any other experiences?”

At the same time I was speaking I was signalling to Jackie that we had to terminate the segment. I went into a slight panic as how to get the thing off the air and I was more focused on making that happen than on what I said.

The only good part to take out of this is that the family has now got some help. I’ve spoken to the mother this afternoon – and they are going to get some counselling. We have done everything that we can possibly do to help them. But the truth is that the mother’s more concerned that it has turned into a bigger media story.

I’m sorry for her that it turned out like that. I’ve certainly pissed off a lot of journos over the years but I’m sad that they’re using the rape of a 12-year-old girl to have a go at me.

There’s terrible things that happen in society. Rape is always terrible, but it’s more unpleasant to not deal with it. This girl hasn’t been able to do that. My main concern has been the mother and the daughter. I believe that the police and DOCS have been involved, so at least something’s being done about it now.

I know a few people that have been raped. My first experience of it was when I was a teenager – I knew a girl who had been raped by a family member.

I just spoke to the mother this afternoon, and she’s very fraught about the whole situation. I said to her if she needed anything, not to hesitate to contact me.

We muck around a lot on the radio but off the air there’s lots of different things we do with people. Contrary to popular belief, Jackie and I care a lot about people.

As far an apology goes, the only person I feel sorry for is the girl. That what should have been dealt with as her private situation ended up being one of the biggest news stories of the day.

As for what I said, it wasn’t intended to hurt. If people have found it appalling or offensive I’m sorry for them that feel that way, but I would ask people to put themselves into the situation where someone says to you during a live radio show that they have been raped.

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