Nine stands down Matty Johns

nrlfUPDATED: Matthew Johns was stood down indefinitely by the Nine Network today. Johns and his manager John Fordham had a two hour meeting with the head of Channel Nine, David Gyngell. He is will front on A Current Affair tonight. Tracy Grimshaw is flying from her Melbourne home to Nine’s Sydney studios.

Nine CEO David Gyngell has now said: “The fact is, whatever the arguments about the details of the New Zealand incident involving Cronulla players in 2002, the conduct and its aftermath was simply unacceptable, fullstop.

“”I have always had great regard for Matt, but he knows better than anyone that this incident has
placed him in an untenable position. To his credit he has recognised that and acted upon it.”

Melbourne Storm has also responded with CEO Brian Waldron saying, “Following discussions between Melbourne Storm and Matthew Johns management earlier today, it was mutually agreed that Matthew would stand down from his part-time role with the club, indefinitely.”

Reports today claim TV personality and former footballer Matthew Johns is set to be stood down indefinitely by Channel Nine over his involvement in a group sex act.

The ABC’s Four Corners program on Monday night claimed a teenage woman had been left feeling suicidal after participating in group sex with Johns and other Sharks players in a Christchurch hotel seven years ago. Her emotional claims were devastating television.

The woman claimed up to 12 players and staff had entered the room over a two-hour period, with six of them having sex with her. Four New Zealand police travelled to Sydney to investigate the incident, but no charges were laid.

Last week on the NRL Footy Show, Johns commented on the incident as a pre-emptive strike before the ABC show could air, claiming it had caused a lot of embarrassment to his family. There was no apology to the girl involved -he even got a pat on the back from Paul Vautin.

Four Corners claims Johns told them he knew the story would catch up with him one day.

NRL chief executive David Gallop yesterday declared everyone involved in rugby league must accept the need to change attitudes towards women or “get out of the game”.

Asked about Johns, Gallop said: “He has got a massive question mark over his future.

“I’m aware that he will be talking to his employer in the next short period.

Nine would not comment yesterday on the future of Johns but news.com.au claims he has been stood down from all on-air roles indefinitely.

Media continue to blast the NRL and Matty Johns over the incident but Johns’ manager John Fordham said his client would not make a public apology to the girl involved.

But Gallop said the incidents highlighted by Four Corners were “fundamentally indefensible”. He apologised to the women who appeared in the program.

“Violence against women is abhorrent and sexual assault and the degradation of women is just that,” Gallop said.

“This is not a time for clubs and players to complain about the media or the fact that victims have spoken out.”

The loss of Johns to the NRL Footy Show comes at a time when the show is struggling to gain viewers in its key markets. In Sydney last week it was beaten by the ABC’s Q&A, yet it managed to win a Logie as the “Most Popular Sports Show.” At the time Paul Vautin thanked CEO David Gyngell for helping to keep the show on air, a line he declined to elaborate on to media after the show.

At the start of its season this year Vautin opened the show with a serious monologue about standards of decency amongst players, and the need for NRL to improve its code of conduct for the sake of a great game.

It’s time to stand up and be counted.

Source: news.com.au, smh.com.au, The Australian

71 Comments:

  1. I think it’s disgusting – absolutely disgusting and amoral that anyone would have group sex for any reason – however it’s got nothing to do with anyone else if it’s consensual.
    She was 19yrs old (an adult). Therefore quite within her rights to do what she did and they to do what they did, no matter how abhorent anyone else may find it.
    I’m sorry that she is going through pain now, but going public doesn’t make the pain go away, in fact will make it worse – now she has to face the fact that her amorality (when she was 19yrs old) is public and will follow her forever – at least if she’d dealt with it privately – gone to counselling, even confronted these men privately she would have got over it all much easier.

    Shame on all those who are blaming Johns for this – she was every bit as much to blame – he really only has himself and his family to answer to. Shame on the media and anyone else who allow moralistic bigots to blight our freedom!

  2. I think that he should be “let of the hook” this is complete bull s**t. In my opinion the girl has got abit older, and finds it difficult to come to terms. She was consensual at the time. End of story. If theyre all consenting adults at the time, who is the public to judge.

  3. This incident would not have occurred had this young woman behaved in a more morally acceptable fashion. While I feel sorry for the woman for what ultimately eventuated but she did consent to going to a hotel room with two men for sex. Why isn’t the media using this opportunity to educate young girls that engaging in such risky behaviour, while exciting at the time can only be viewed with regret at a later date. It is considered normal for rock stars to have multiple girls in bed with one guy. I personally had willingly been in that position. Does that make me as bad as Matty Johns. He should be judged only by his wife as his “crime” was that of adultery. The others involved are not being named and shamed or in threat of losing their jobs. If the police were confident that no crime was committed the incident should never have been made public. If Channel 9 does sack him I hope he has grounds for a claim of unfair dismissal. Universally everyone I have spoken to share my opinion and wonder why if genuine wait seven years?

  4. What a disgrace. Talk about nailing someone to the wall. How about hearing both sides to a story before crusifying them Tracy Grimshore. This was discussed 7 years ago why is he being punished now. If he were regular joe it wouldn’t be such big deal. And if this woman was serious she should have done something about it back then, not brag.

  5. matty johns has lost his reputation and career over an incident 7 years ago where the women was obviously willing…if she wasn’t charges would have been laid. this women told a friend and that friend gossiped about it. by the time it got around people were probably so disgusted in her. she more then likely felt so embarrassed of herself so she turned her story around making matty johns look like the bad one in all this

    they say men dont respect women….women should have pride in themselves and respect thier bodies and think b4 they act..not act b4 u think…. incidents like this could be avoided if that were the case

    channel 9 will never be the same without johns. and i wont continue watching channel 9. all the best to matty johns and the family

  6. With no charges pressed – no laws have been broken, the woman is upset now – but she wasn`t at the time, as her co-worker said she was happy to brag about having sex with 7 of them at the time. Matthew Johns needs to be reinstated into all his former positions, he and his wife have suffered enough over a woman that has finally grown up and now having trouble coming to terms with her wayward behaviour of the past. Had she been a victim of rape or violence then my view would be entirely different but a willing participant takes her right to make people “pay” away. By the way Chennel 9 since when did employers in Australia have the right to sack their staff over being unfaithful to their spouse. Half the population would be given the sack if that were legal. Sure it probably contavenes some small paragraph in the contract but for Gods sake Channel 9 this is a mans life you are playing with so stop it, you need to appreciate the situation for what it was, if the Police were satisfied there was nothing to answer to then what the hell are you doing stripping this mans life to shreads now. Kid we haven`t all made misjudgements and mistakes we`d all rather wish we hadn`t. I am a 50 year old woman, I don`t like agree with the behaviour of either party but I am realistic enough to know it goes on and I`m sure a lot worse goes on out there each and every day of the week. Lets keep in mind this was 7 years ago, you can`t be made to pay forever, so leave this man alone, stop your bully tactics, get him back on the Footy show and start looking at things objectively, not like a pack of cowards.

  7. 7yrs afta no charges were laid and Matty gets crucified, loses his career and reputation let alone the pressure it has put on his marriage,family and close friends all over a ladies regret from years ago. Whats next are the bulldogs going to be dragged through the mud again after the Coffs Harbour drama and any other team or players that have done wrong in the past, how many years is long enough.

    No longer will i watch channel 9 for any reason i will watch the friday and sunday footy games replayed on fox on mondays. Bye channel 9 wish you all the best Matty and family.

  8. ” What The’?? like this stuff doesn’t happen every weekend all over the country – wake up people – (It’s Just that now he’s on TV etc lets make a big deal & make an example of him..or some Money out of it along the way..)

  9. In my opinion, everyone that night (7 Years ago) made a mistake (an error in judgement) which has effected the woman’s life and Matthew Johns’ life with such an impact. Both may have regrets about the incident & both have paid a big price. (the media made it sound as if Matthew Johns “raped a minor” , he did neither). It was consensual & 19 years of age is actually an adult age. (people have been sent to war younger. People have married younger.) Unfortunately “group sex” is not a rare thing- It does happen and can effect a person afterwards with so much regret. I think it is sad for the woman who seems not to be able to deal with her regrets, I also feel very sorry for Matt, he has been totally crucified for a situation that occured 7 yrs ago, was investigated thoroughly and no charges laid. Matt is being portrayed as a monster, that is sad to see. He has lost his livelihood basically because he committed adultery in ’02. while I don’t agree with group sex, I think it unfair for Matt to lose his job. Sorry Fatty, I’ve lost interest in the footy show now, Matt was a humorous highlight of the show. Perhaps all said and done we need to let Matt quietly deal with the issues he has to face. I hope his family & friends are keeping a close check of his state of mind right now. I don’t think anyone has the right to judge. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Lastly, as a female football fan, I hadn’t lost interest in football, until now, such a harsh judgement, for Matt to lose his career. I’ll still watch the games, though with a little less heart & enthusiasm.

  10. I have never seen such a one sided piece of reporting in my life, Tracey you have really outdone yourself this time. Who in gods name made you “miss goody two shoes”. What Matt Johns did was consentual!!! People are having consentual sex with multiple partners everyday. Let’s not lose track of that, I’m sure people have done things in there life they wish they could change but guess what you can’t so deal with it or don’t do it in future. I really wonder how much she pocketted for the four corners story? And I bet none of it is spent on psychologists. And weren’t there a dozen or so other people there?? Oh that’s right, Matt Johns is the only one that will give us ratings!! Please grow up and join the real world because all you have succeeded in doing is creating a witch hunt for your own personal gain.

  11. Obviously I wasn’t in ‘the room’ when this debacle started, so I can’t comment on whether or not this was ‘group sex’, ‘rape’ or anything else. To me, a legal crime was only committed if it was rape. If it wasn’t rape, then it simply comes down to an act of infidelity, which (as Matthew’s wife said), is between Matthew & his wife.

    The public spectacle of all this, that’s another matter altogether. But let’s get this into perspective. According to statistics, approximately 22% of husbands have committed adultery at least once in their life – that’s more than 1 in 5 husbands! That’s over 900,000 Australian husbands today, who have committed adultery at some stage! That’s terrifying.But guess what, that figure for wives is approximately 14%, or 600,000 Aussie wives.
    That’s a total of 1,500,000 Aussie married people who have strayed at least once – or at least admit (in a survey that is, not to their spouse) to having done so.
    Note, these figures are based on statistics from 20 years ago. Matthew Johns is merely 1 of these statistics who have strayed.
    Am not saying that what Johns did 7 years ago was acceptable – it’s not (at least what he did to his wife), but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that it is so unusual for even a celebrity to cheat on their wife. It’s just that Matthew happened to get exposed. Now, how about the many, many other Aussie celebrities who have committed adultery at some stage? We only hold a high level of integrity in people who we assume have never committed adultery……as long as they remain unexposed. once they get exposed, do they then become less of a human that you & I? (assuming you & I have never cheated on our spouse of course!)

    With 3/4 of The Footy Show’s main cast of presenters from the 2000’s now having been given the boot in recent times – Sterlo, the Chief & Matthew, we’re now left with Fatty as the only remaining draw card for the show. Is the show going to survive past 2009? I wonder.

  12. I support Matty channel nine and the nrl need to wake up to themselves it was 7 years ago and the police looked into it just because he was man enough to stand up and say yeah i was envolved he is the one who is suffering why has it taken the girl 7 years to come forward we all make mistakes but we can’t change them . it’s a part of life if she isn’t in it for the money then why all the drama . ok matty shouldn’t have cheated on his wife at least he told her what had happened . i know of plenty of footballers who play and go away on trips to play they have admitted to group sex with other women while there away the women involved were willing as well so what no matter what happens channel nine you have ruined the footy show and you will loose a lot of viewers
    bring back the biff love you Matty

  13. @Bernadette.

    “@Joanne did you watch Four Corners? It wasn’t really that simple as “rape” or “not rape”. She was 19 and vulnerable in many ways. So the best case scenario is that a bunch of men had sex with a teenager who didn’t know how to say no. Nice blokes all I’m sure.”

    No, I did not watch it; I tend to only watch the “news”, and not anything that is tabloid news.

    I think every 25 year old can look back and call themselves young and vulnerable when they were 19. But the fact is, at 19, you are legally accountable for everything that you do, because once you pass 18 you are supposed to be old enough and sensible enough to be responsible for what you do.

    I don’t believe that this would have gone ahead had she not given them some encouragement, and of course, 7 years later when she regrets it she can deny that she was encouraging anybody. It really is just her words, which I frankly find dubious.

    And what I said about being responsible for their actions does apply to Matthew Johns as well, I just think that this girl should also acknowledge her part in the incident and not lay the blame squarely on someone else. Police are so tight with sexual assault or rape or any sort of assault on women, so I think if there was anything solid to get these guys on, they would have got them.

    I’m just about the most inarticulate person around, so I’m not sure if I’m making my point very well. I’m just saying that while I agree that Matthew (and the 10 other players…) was wrong, this girl is probably no angel.

  14. I’m a Victorian, I have no interest in Mr Johns, the NRL or its Footy Show or Channel 9, but this was an incident that happened 7 years ago, it was investigated seven years ago, no charges were laid, nobody was convicted of any crime, and apparently another 11 players were involved but this one is left out to dry and loses his TV and coaching jobs, and then subjected to trial by Tracy? What about the other ten? And typical Channel 9, they sack him then use him to fill 20 minutes of ACA to grab some ratings points.

  15. Well no matter what part was consensual, I don’t get how his wife can possibly continue to live with him knowing what he was a party to when he was 31 yrs old and married. Makes me wonder what she thinks is acceptable…. what would he think if his wife was a girl in a room and agreed to sex with 1 or 2 and then the rest of the team taking turns- oh yes he’d stick right by her!! Sorry honey, but it was ‘consensual’ Talk about ‘dirty linen’ How can ayou stay with your husband knowing he has had group sex like that.Ha Ha- who’s in it for the money- not the NZ girl! I see a Gerry Springer show on this!
    And wow, how proud must Mr & Mrs Johns senior be of their boys! Done them proud eh?
    Anyway, I hope the young girl involved finds some peace.

  16. It’s all a bunch of crap! This happened years ago! She gives it a few years, matures a little, realises she “struck gold” and decides to drag a respectable NRL players name through the dirt. There isn’t even a case here!!!!! She consented to the sex, there was no rape and it’s not classed as a sex scandal.

  17. Im really p**** off with those ignorant people who critizise and Judge Matty. Especially oxfordian, dougR paul and virus..
    You don’t know the full story. I’ve heard 2 different stories where matty pulled out of it and was upset about that, and another story where 12 people and staff were involved. im sure one of them had the conscience to say stop if the girl screamed…stop..

    I don’t know the full story either but im not here making judgement, only to those who judges him. Cos you’s are ignorant n only judge him based on the media and your emotions. You don’t judge according to the truth..don’t judge him til u know the truth, don’t judge him if u do know the truth. Cos u aint perfect, u made mistakes before, prob bad ones but forget u have. What’s this got to do with u…haven’t u got anything better to do than pickin on other people flaws to make yourself feel better, especially high profile players where their at risk of making mistakes. Well he’s only human. Why are u doing it, are u jealous cos he’s famous and cos your not. Well u shouldn’t be cos that’s when one mistake can ruin your reputation. Matt had to find out the hard way. Bet u couldn’t do it.

    There are people who love the footy show, simply because matty entertained us and made us laughed. He made the footy show more enjoyable.

    Just ask yourself this? Who are you to Judge? he’s only human and you’ve made mistakes before so humble yourself n fix up your mistakes before you go around judging others. you’re not god so shut up….I’m peeed off at u especially those name I mentioned!

  18. Im really p**** off with those ignorant people who critizise and Judge Matty. Especially oxfordian, dougR paul and virus..You don’t know the full story. I’ve heard 2 different stories where matty pulled out of it and was upset about that, and another story where 12 people and staff were involved. im sure one of them had the conscience to say stop if the girl screamed…stop..

    I don’t know the full story either but im not here making judgement, only to those who judges him. Cos you’s are ignorant n only judge him based on the media and your emotions. You don’t judge according to the truth..don’t judge him til u know the truth, don’t judge him if u do know the truth. Cos u aint perfect, u made mistakes before, prob bad ones but forget u have. What’s this got to do with u…haven’t u got anything better to do than pickin on other people flaws to make yourself feel better, especially high profile players where their at risk of making mistakes. Well he’s only human. Why are u doing it, are u jealous cos he’s famous and cos your not. Well u shouldn’t be cos that’s when one mistake can ruin your reputation. Matt had to find out the hard way. Bet u couldn’t do it.

    There are people who love the footy show, simply because matty entertained us and made us laughed. He made the footy show more enjoyable. Just ask yourself this? Who are you to Judge? he’s only human and you’ve made mistakes before so humble yourself n fix up your mistakes before you go around judging others. you’re not god so shut up….I’m peeed off at u especially those name I mentioned!

  19. When away on an end of season football trip, I overheard a young girl, maybe 20 yrs old, open a conversation with a team mate with “I want to s*** your c***.” These were the first words that came out of her mouth. He declined but another bloke chimed in yes. She said she would only go with him if the first bloke came to. I don’t condone their behaviour or Matty Jonhns but you are naive if you think there aren’t women out there who don’t share the same lack of respect for themselves as the NRL players.

  20. Michael Dalton

    God Johns is dumb. Hasn’t got a brain has he? Still doesn’t get what most people find offensive in his behaviour. He still thinks he behaved well – “stepped away from it all” after he’d had sex, them popped back in to see that everything was OK with all the other blokes. Seeing everything was OK, according to him, he let it all go ahead. Wonder what he’ll teach his sons.

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