Nine stands down Matty Johns

By David Knox on May 13, 2009 / Filed Under News 71

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. Fiandra June 3, 2009 at 1:56 am -

    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. craig May 21, 2009 at 9:24 pm -

    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. Helen May 16, 2009 at 9:14 pm -

    We are talking about a teenaged girl here, not a woman. A crime against a teen is a crime, time doesnt make it ok.

  4. Lorraine May 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm -

    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?

  5. Kath May 15, 2009 at 1:50 pm -

    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.

  6. megan May 15, 2009 at 2:07 am -

    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

  7. Heidi May 15, 2009 at 12:50 am -

    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.

  8. wayne May 14, 2009 at 9:00 pm -

    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.

  9. Gilly May 14, 2009 at 8:55 pm -

    ” 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..)

  10. Michelle May 14, 2009 at 8:47 pm -

    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.

  11. Todd May 14, 2009 at 2:14 pm -

    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.

  12. Paul May 14, 2009 at 12:11 pm -

    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.

  13. kelly May 14, 2009 at 10:18 am -

    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

  14. Joanne May 14, 2009 at 2:07 am -

    @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.

  15. Andrew May 14, 2009 at 12:35 am -

    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.

  16. Justine May 13, 2009 at 10:55 pm -

    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.

  17. Jacob May 13, 2009 at 10:26 pm -

    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.

  18. Brad May 13, 2009 at 9:59 pm -

    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. Brad May 13, 2009 at 9:48 pm -

    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!

  20. Mick May 13, 2009 at 8:21 pm -

    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.

  21. Michael Dalton May 13, 2009 at 8:09 pm -

    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.

  22. Denis May 13, 2009 at 7:58 pm -

    As a footnote to my previous post,the fluff piece is now done and dusted with the prime objective seemingly to lay blame on some non nine employed players….geez i wonder if any of them work for another network?
    (please don’t either side of this argument get me wrong,both sides are as disgusting as the other…..still think they should have onioned him up a little those attempts at remorse didn’t quite hit the mark without tears.

  23. mikey May 13, 2009 at 7:48 pm -

    @ Andrew “See the thing about these footy players is they all end up with wives and families because they respect the women they eventually do marry.”

    You have got to be kidding, right? These meat heads (not all players, just the meat-head ‘me want sex’ types) do not respect their wives like you say…

  24. Ruth May 13, 2009 at 7:40 pm -

    Nwest said that “It is unfair that Matthew Johns is the only one to be held accountable” and I agree, where are the others and I want to know why the girl involved took 2 men to her room, surely she knew she was in for group sex…………However it all happened several years ago and people do change in those years

    I’m female and oldish so I am aware that what they all did to the girl was disgusting and it certainly was. But why is everyone making such a huge fuss now over what has been happening in football circles for years as many oldies will tell you. We know what goes on and it needs to be stopped .
    However many of these girls throw themselves at the footballers and then cry foul play when it doesn’t end up as they expected.
    One of my family members was at Uni with a girl who bragged about having sex with most of the Broncos and Qld Reds players -several years ago – it was a ‘feather in her cap” so to speak..

    This whole Mat Johns is about pulling down tall poppies.

  25. Dannii May 13, 2009 at 7:36 pm -

    While I agree that there is a problem with the people immersed in the NRL culture respecting ladies, it takes 2 to tango. No charges were laid because she consented…… if she agreed and she later feels like a whore, then to bad. That’s no reason to ruin the life and careers of the guys you slept with.And Why only name Matty? If it was as bad as you say you would remember who else, you do remember who else!! Just because Matty is in the public eye doesn’t mean he should pay a price that should be distributed to everyone involved. And who cares if she was 19? does that even matter ?she was legal … go to any nightclub any weekend and see the things 19 year old girls get up to. The media need to realise that while it is not a liked culture, that is the way any footy culture is and always has been, it’s the same in any environment like it ( just not in the medias eye) and there are many women out there who knowingly immerse themselves in that culture and situations which could cause regret later. While the event may be distasteful it’s not illegal in either country why should he (and the others – once the media hunts them down) be punished as criminals ?

  26. sad and disappointed football fan May 13, 2009 at 7:31 pm -

    I was very surprised with Tracey’s interview tonight, at first I thought here we go channel nine fluffing the disgusting behaviour and protecting their staff.

    Matty will get the opportunity to say he was sorry etc etc but instead I felt wow channel 9 is saying enough is enough. Tracey was excellent and she summarised it to the tee.

    Matty was an ambassador for the sport and channel 9 he has abused that title.

    I wonder why it took him seven years to say sorry on the footy show a few days before the 4 corners episode.

    I hope the NRL will stand up and take the footy show off for a while, and hopefully come back with a whole new concept.

  27. effdee May 13, 2009 at 6:44 pm -

    Johns today….the Footy show next…..hopefully

  28. Neil May 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm -

    Mathew John’s job was always going to live or die on the power of what the sponsor thought. If 9 thought the sponsors would stand for a person of his “character” then he would be pushed out the door.

    Some cloud still remains as to whether he is sacked or stood down on full pay.

    Can’t expect the ACA interview to be any more than a fluff piece, where he will appologise to the girl and the fans. He still has a foot in the door and is keen to get back in again. A bit like the incident itself.

  29. Andrew May 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm -

    Who’s going to replace him on the Footy Show? Vossy and Fatty are bad enough! Will they get Chief back or his brother Andrew?

    I think they should get Ryan Girdler or someone funny! Although didn’t they do a similar thing with Sam Newman on the AFL footy show then he come back anyone.. probably going to be the same with Matty.

    I am quite angry about this, had this had been rape then sure through the book at him but this woman invited these people back to her place and never said anything till later.. Was Matthew even the one having sex with her? It doesn’t sound like it..

    See the thing about these footy players is they all end up with wives and families because they respect the women they eventually do marry.

  30. Rob May 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm -

    @Chris

    Maybe you have a daughter or sister my 5 mates can have consensual sex with since you don’t mind and seem happy enough to condone

  31. mikey May 13, 2009 at 6:07 pm -

    Channel Nine are just saving face, but for 7 years there has been information about what happened, and yet Nine chose to use/employ Johns up until the ABC did their story…
    Good on ABC. Same on you Nine.

  32. Kuttsywood May 13, 2009 at 5:49 pm -

    NRL’s version down to two hosts now.

    Vautin and Voss. (Harrigan left last year.)

    If Voss chucks it in, either revive the split NRL Footy Show experiment (with separate Footy Shows in Sydney and Brisbane), or can it for a pretaped NRL window done by Fatty or Ken Sutcliffe, in the AFL Footy Show, which would run at 9:30 on the main channel in the NRL states.

    I just hope Vautin doesn’t have any “dirty sheets” from his footy career that could ruin him worse than both Johns brothers combined undoings.

  33. Tepee May 13, 2009 at 5:31 pm -

    PT Ryan I completely agree with everything you’ve said.

  34. Katerine May 13, 2009 at 4:59 pm -

    I have just read many of the comments that have been left for all to read. I am a great fan of Matty Johns. People have to remember that what happened occured somewhat several years ago and now all of a sudden this girl comes out and talks about it. Of course she would named Matty Johns as he is a High Profile Person and his face is on telly. If this was someone of the street we the public wouldn’t have heard about it at all. But because of Matty’s Profile everyone is hearing about it and Matty and his whole family have to endure the pain, what about the other players, who have done wrong by woman? Many of these players are still playing the game they love so much. Matty has lived with his mistakes and everyone should just stop bagging him and live their own life the best they can. Matty is no different to any of us, he is a human being with a family and yes he does have feelings? Clean up your backyard before you look in someone’s else!!!

  35. Stan May 13, 2009 at 4:59 pm -

    Rob (2:36pm),

    I think that media events like this clearly demonstrate the lack of “role models” Australia has when we look up to footballers, thus saying a lot about our decadent society today.

    In saying that, I believe these “ladies” & “gentlemen” both deserve eachother, so good luck to them.

  36. Tony May 13, 2009 at 4:50 pm -

    Good riddance to an odious piece of rubbish. How about he gives up the names of the others involved – fat chance of that.

    Am surprised Nine didn’t give him his own show as reward. Co-hosted with Gretel Killeen, it could have been called lock up your sons and daughters.

  37. akiva May 13, 2009 at 4:48 pm -

    there is know foot show with out matty he will be missed

  38. chris May 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm -

    omg get over it. if that girl consented to it all, then theres nothing wrong. shes the one who screwed around with 6 people, so why is the blame being put on matty johns?

  39. Paull May 13, 2009 at 4:39 pm -

    What they all did to that girl is disgusting, and channel Nine made the right choice in standing him down. But, I don’t think that poor girl will ever get over what’s happened to her

  40. Steve May 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm -

    Matthew’s segments on the NRL show were so cringeworthy 99% of the time, that Nine have probably done viewers a favour.

  41. PT Ryan May 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm -

    Good. Frankly the entire culture in this country of putting sports stars on a pedestal because they can kick a ball, run fast, etc, is just despicable. I hope the other five get named and shamed as well. Just why people keep expecting higher moral integrity from these glorified adolescents is utterly beyond me. I totally agree with the other poster who said he seems sorry more for getting caught then the actual act itself. As for some of the other comments on this topic… Some of you people really ought to take a good look at your attitudes to women (both the male and female posters) and think long and hard about yourselves.

  42. Denis May 13, 2009 at 3:46 pm -

    Are we expected to believe that the first time that Channel 9,Melbourne Storm,David Gallop etc.,knew of this incident was when 4 corners done an expose on it?
    If any other business was to employ someone earning such big dollars and be completely oblivious to what was not a “secret”,their would be more then just John’s being stood down.
    For christsake i am sick of every thing in this country being treated as some huge unknown until the media breaks a story.
    Lets just get on with it and over it,we all know whats going to happen Channel 9 are legendary at it.
    Tabloid TV will do a fluff piece where he appears to be ready to commit Hari Kari,public opinion will swing after a mandatory cooling off period he’s back on again…..his brother and Sammy,well you know the story.

  43. Oxfordian May 13, 2009 at 3:34 pm -

    Did anyone actually watch the 4 Corners story? I’m embarrassed to be a man after watching that. It was quite distressing for the girl involved and come on, she did not ask for that. Can’t believe that Matt didn’t apologise to the girl on air at all. Hope Tracy puts him through hell on ACA tonight.

    It’s a real f’d up culture in the NRL, that’s for sure.

  44. jahna May 13, 2009 at 3:31 pm -

    i personally think that what has happened to Matthew Johns is wrong!!! so he has had the boot!!! what about the other players that were involved? will the lose their careers too? i remeber not so long ago some of the bulldogs were accused of raping a young girl too but fancy that hey they are still on the field every week playing for their team… i mean come on unless you were a fly on that wall no one knows what really happened can you really trust the word of an embarassed girl, and anyway i have not heard the word rape mentioned yet just sex well they are 2 very different things!!! and if this girl was too stupid to report this earlier” about 7 years ago” thats her problem!!! Young girls do stupid S**t all the time.

  45. FJ May 13, 2009 at 3:24 pm -

    Why did 9 hire Wayne Carey after his affair with his mates wife? Why did they use Newton in Underbelly after his incident with his girlfriend?
    Double standards,

  46. Ryan May 13, 2009 at 3:05 pm -

    Please it wasn’t like this was assault; didn’t the girl willingly participate in this orgy.

  47. Jess May 13, 2009 at 2:45 pm -

    How dear anyone say he shoud be stood down wat is it 2u if he has grop sex thats his life why are u aloud 2 tel him how and when he can have a sex its hes personal life get real it not like thay did it in public then u can have a cry and say how he is not a good rolemodol just becaus it not ur cup of tea u think it rong if thats how he like it it is not a crime the judges dident think so rolemodol yes he is and he did nothing rong! meida scum

  48. richard h May 13, 2009 at 2:42 pm -

    what’s the real sickening thing here is how Mathew could sit through recent alligations on footy players and know what he had done, he always has this smarmy grin on his face and now I know why. Trouble is a certain amount of footy players get away with a heck of a lot and those idiots who constantly do idiotic things and distastful acts make good players and decent men in league look bad.

    They are a buch of cashed up, boozed up, uncaring scum bags who think they are above laws and everyday people. Both Johns boys are twits.

  49. Rob May 13, 2009 at 2:36 pm -

    I don’t think anyone is disputing it was consensual sex. New Zealand police officers travelled to Sydney but couldn’t find anything to lay charges against. Case closed as far as the law goes.

    The point of taking Matthew Johns off air is that he is held up by his code as a role model, a sport that banks heavily on support from working class families taking their little boys out to play for the local under 8’s every weekend. If you want to celebrate a guy who had sex with a woman that resulted in her becoming suicidal then those under 8’s will learn from his behaviour. Having said that, it probably won’t stop the same thing from happening again this weekend somewhere in Sydney. Attitudes like this are so entrenched they’ll never change.

  50. Bernadette May 13, 2009 at 2:18 pm -

    @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.

    @Dick you’re right, the blokes often get the raw deal. But the most shocking part of the Four Corners story for me was when a group of young footballers (current under 20’s) were shown two videos. In one a girl got drunk and woke up with a footballer who’d had sex with her which she had no recollection of – all the footballers thought she’d pretty much asked for it. The second video showed the same scenario except it was a bloke who’d been the subject of the unwanted advances of a male footballer – no one thought he’d “asked for it” even though he was drunk. This demonstrates pretty clearly that there’s an attitude that if a woman is drunk and says no (or says nothing because she’s comatose) she doesn’t mean it (or would really want it if she were awake). That’s pretty damned pathetic and goes a long way to explaining why the blokes get a raw deal.

  51. DougR May 13, 2009 at 2:03 pm -

    On your bike Matty! I’m as hetro as you can get, but girls (even the ‘loosest’ of them) don’t deserve that sort of treatment. If you’d advised her beforehand that there was a possibility of doing five or six or, even right up to the whole team, do you really think she would have consented to that? She may have consented with you and maybe even another, but don’t you think the Goal Posts were moved when it turned ugly? Consentual then???…my big fat A***!! I think a half reasonable lawyer could make a case here and the girl should sue for all they are worth.
    Looks like it runs in the family, too. Andrew I once called ‘Joey” – when I had respect for him and even though he was a Blue, I recognised him for his talent. Didn’t know then that he took drugs. Got to agree with another (Bogues)comment on this page: “His brother Andrew admited on the Footy Show two years ago that he regularly took Ecstasy (which is a crime), and he has been able to continue on with his channel nine commitments.” I wonder how this is possible and so far the only way I can justify watching Nine when he is on is to hit the mute button. Yes Andrew, you should pack your bags too!! I really believe both of them are sorry – unfortunately it is only sorry that they were caught!
    Hope these and other comments are picked up and acted upon by Nine. Or am I dreaming?

  52. virus May 13, 2009 at 1:38 pm -

    I don’t understand why are people comparing Andrew’s case to Matthew’s case!!

    Matthew –> He should be stood down , simply because committing such horendous acts that to being a role-model for young kids is punishable crime! Horendous acts that affects/affected another “person”!!!! And his apology .. oh come on.. when you are public figure, you dont kill a person and tell on TV “i am really sorry for my wife and my kids..” that just means that person actualy thinks killing the victim was “justified” but he is sorry for his own family ……

    Andrew: he admitted taking drygs!.. he was not guilty of peddling drugs .. he was destroying himself from within and he was not destroying others!!!! and he made a public apology accepting his problem.

  53. Edu May 13, 2009 at 1:05 pm -

    It wasn’t rape was it? It was purely consensual. The girst could have just easily fled the room when she noticed that there are more guys joining them, for all we know she encouraged it at that time and just felt sorry now looking back at it 7 years after and just decided to create a controversy out fo nothing.

  54. GuanoLad May 13, 2009 at 12:52 pm -

    I thought the NRL Footy Show was going to be cancelled this year.

  55. Bogues May 13, 2009 at 12:49 pm -

    While what Matthew did was wrong – very wrong – it is 1) seven years ago, 2) not a criminal offence and 3) he has apologized for it.

    I will be be very disappointed if they stand him down. His brother Andrew admited on the Footy Show two years ago that he regularly took Ecstasy (which is a crime), and he has been able to continue on with his channel nine commitments.

    Double standards, or just the media looking for blodd?

    @Kuttsywood: The AFL footy show is shown in RL states on the Nine HD channel at 8:30pm (and on delay on Nine SD).

  56. Joanne May 13, 2009 at 12:39 pm -

    It was consensual, so I don’t see what this girl has to complain about. If she didn’t want to have group sex with a bunch of footy players, she should have refrained from having group sex with a bunch of footy players. And if she was under the influence of alcohol, well that’s really her own fault anyway.

  57. James Grant May 13, 2009 at 12:23 pm -

    The Footy Show is about as relevant on Australian TV as Hey Hey it’s Saturday – and look where that is – axed!!

    As for Matty Johns – his performance and that of Vautin slapping him on the back was just so typical – why should we be feeling so sorry for Johns – this was a disgraceful act despite it being consensual and he is supposedly one of the NRL’s pin up boys.

    He and that Sam Newman are paid enormous amounts of money and quite honestly seem to delight in denegrating women – these supposedly proud hetrosexual men seem to love getting dressed up in women’s clothes, see nothing wrong in watching each other having sex and claim it is all some sort of male bonding thing. I have a lot of male friends and we’ve never seen any need to bond like that.

    Let’s just see how Nine deals with this one – if he and the Foot y Show are still on air in six months time Nine deserves to be fifth in the ratings – a reflection I hope of how viewers really feel about Nine and it’s on air talent!

  58. Casey May 13, 2009 at 11:58 am -

    I don’t really care what happens either way, but considering both Seven and Ten consistently beat The Footy Show (the NRL version and I’m sure the AFL one also) in the ratings, it was surprising it came back this year at a 9.30 pm slot when it should be moved to a 10.30 pm, or moved to a daytime Saturday or Sunday timeslot.

  59. barrett May 13, 2009 at 11:11 am -

    Vautin needs to go as well……all but high fiving Johns after his so called apology – what a disgrace.
    It seems like the only thing Johns is sorry about is being caught out in this.

    Channel 9 are going to a new low if nothing is done.

  60. Dick May 13, 2009 at 11:01 am -

    I know it’s not a very popular point of view but whenever something like this happens, the media’s sympathy always automatically swings toward the female, and the males are crucified. In the case of a sexual assault, where there has been proven violence and/or rape towards a woman, then it’s black & white…..the male deserves all he gets.

    But in a situation like this, it’s not as clear-cut. There are 2 sides to every story. Johns claims the situation was consensual. No charges have been laid. The girl has not made any claims of violence towards her, yet Gallop is including “Violence against women….” in his statements? Why is she going to the media about this 7 years later, at a time when Johns is now an established TV personality?

    Truth is, we’ll probably never know what which version is true. But in this situation, it seems the media has made our minds up for us.

  61. Leanne May 13, 2009 at 10:49 am -

    I am not condoning what these RL players do – full stop! But some of these women have to take some responsibility. Especially those that go trawling for these footballers. Its the man’s fault, ‘someone spiked my drink’, ‘NRLs fault’ – why can’t someone just take responsibility for their own actions. As I said, I do not excuse their behaviour, but it would be hard to treat women well when you are constantly surrounded by bimbos hunting down footballers..

  62. Good ole Gil May 13, 2009 at 10:44 am -

    How could this controversy possible hurt the Footy Show any more? Any controversy can only lift ratings. The show has been dead for the last ten years so any reason for people to watch will be most welcomed by David and co. If they do suspend him, then they will build up his return!! Some things in TV never change.

  63. Nwest May 13, 2009 at 9:40 am -

    It is unfair that Matthew Johns is the only one to be held accountable…they should all now be named and shamed. Johns denies none of the girls story, and seems to think that with the initial act being consentual he has little to answer for. Nine burly rugby guys (7 uninvited) towering over a 19 year old country girl, surely no one is stupid enough to think that she was in a position of power. Sure the girl was stupid and naive, but these men have gone way beyond the bounds of common decency and who can blame her for wanting to destroy their lives in return.

  64. dede May 13, 2009 at 9:29 am -

    “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”

    He actually said “thanks for keeping the show on air – just” He said the word just under his breath – makes you wonder how they got Most Popular Award? I think the NRL Footy Show production office probably had writers’s cramp after voting had finished!

  65. HarryDog May 13, 2009 at 8:59 am -

    Johns should go – but whether he does or doesn’t his reputation is gone. But if he does go – he should be just the first in many. My nomination is Fairfax and Nine Network “journalist” Danny Weidler.

    He is a serial Sports-mans apologist. This is part of the “lowdown” that he wrote in his column on the Sun-Herald on the weekend, “When other players entered the room and began to watch was happening Johns backed out. The woman requested that Johns have sex with her again. Her request was made in the crudest terms. When another player said he would, the woman requested Johns. He declined”. So when the woman requested the man who she had consented to have sex with stay with her, he declined. Why should he? She was ‘crude’.

    She also somehow managed to consent to other players coming in to watch, which we can only assume from Weidler’s article, John’s didn’t know about and hadn’t consented to. Very rigorous journalism there Mr Weidler. This is yet another horrendous article defending in the indefensible by an alleged journalist who is so embedded in the NRL culture he has no credibility. If the sport is going to change, so has to its coverage by all media outlets.

    Then to top it off Weidler boasts – “I spoke to Johns about this matter seven years ago. Because he had not been charged and his marriage was on the rocks I did not expose him”. Very honourable Mister Weidler. Now its time to go.

  66. Kuttsywood May 13, 2009 at 8:39 am -

    For once, I am saying, put Sam Newman to air in the RL states at a decent time… Even a dry run, when the State of Origin happens in Melbourne in a couple of weeks time wouldn’t hurt.

    Send the NRL version to where it belongs, Nine’s SD. Sometimes, having no footage can be fun you know, and the AFL boys are the masters of having no footage.

  67. Jason May 13, 2009 at 8:33 am -

    Hmm mixed feelings about this. Compare Matthew Johns with his brother Andrew. Matthew has consensual group sex and is about to be sacked??? If he had group sex with this lady but with a few non-NRL playing friends there would be no issue here. If Nine want to sack him I understand their position, It’s just about saving face for rugby league who are desperate to have a clean image. But it still doesn’t explain how Andrew gets to keep his job…

  68. Bernadette May 13, 2009 at 8:30 am -

    And so he should be stood down. Not only for the original act but for the cowardly ‘pre emptive strike’ he made in which all the talk was about how the raising of this story has affected him and his family and not a jot of care for how his own actions affected the woman concerned. Vautin’s ‘well said mate’ was equally appalling and both men demonstrated that the attitude towards women in the football culture hasn’t changed nearly as much as it needs to.

  69. Ryan May 13, 2009 at 7:31 am -

    I’m sick of hearing about this and I still don’t really know the full story, wasn’t this all leaked back in 2001/2002? Why is it being bought up again? And is there honestly any need to stand the man down?

  70. Andrew May 13, 2009 at 6:42 am -

    I’m sorry but yeah he did something wrong in his early 20’s like an idiot! But what about the other 5 people having sex with this woman and other 6 watching? Because she didn’t know who they were they get off scott free?

    It’s pretty easy go back to the year of the incident and think of who made up the Sharks team and you have the rest of the people involved.

    I still can’t get over this woman and women like Charmaine who willingly follow these footballers around and then because they get treated like the slut they are they regret it later.

    Ok so it shouldn’t have happened but has she actually said they raped her?

    Here’s a hot tip girls, don’t invite footy players you barely know back to your place or hotel room.

  71. Ryano May 13, 2009 at 5:29 am -

    David Gyngell needs to stand up and be counted and take the NRL Footy Show off the air. Its well past its used by date, smells like a rotting dead rat in the roof on a 45 degree day.

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