Sarah Monahan to make police statement, as Simone Buchanan speaks

By David Knox on March 26, 2010 / Filed Under News 0

Former Hey Dad! actress Simone Buchanan is the latest cast member to speak about allegations on the set of the former sitcom.

Her statement to A Current Affair last night follows other actors including Ben Oxenbould, Julie McGregor, Chris Truswell and Chris Mayer responding to the allegations made by Sarah Monahan.

Buchanan was joined by Monahan, now in Australia to file a statement with NSW Police. She recalled an incident that took place after she was driven home by the man.

“He started to touch me inappropriately in the car and made some comments that were really inappropriate. Look, I was 18 at the time. I was a woman. I was able to deflect that stuff fairly easily. Basically this was a guy having a go,” she said.

“So I knew. I thought ‘Ok this guy’s a bit dodgy.’ So I stayed away from him in that regard.”

But when she came to learn of Monahan’s situation, Buchanan says she approached producer Gary Reilly who told her she needed to keep it quiet.

“I had handed this to someone higher and he was going to do something about it,” she said.

“I was surprised when nothing was done.”

She remembers a discussion with Reilly after she left the show.

“I received a phone call later that night from him, very very angry with me,” she said.

“He said, ‘If I hear that you’re speaking about this again anywhere I’ll see to it that you won’t ever work in this country again.’ He was very angry with me. I was furious. I had already left the show. Who was this person to ring me and say that to me?’

Monahan also said the incidents become well-known within the industry.

“I did three episodes on Home and Away and everybody on the set there asked.”

She also said decided to now speak to a magazine rather than police because it would have been ‘He said, She said’ hearsay involving people based in different countries.

“This way I go out there and I give that voice to other people to say ‘He came to me, he did this to me.’ It gives people the voice to stand up and it put it out there in the open arena where people could say ‘It’s not okay.’”

Monahan will now make a statement to authorities.

“We’re headed straight to the police,” she said.

ACA also spoke to two other victims who recounted abuse unrelated to the Seven series.

Meanwhile on Today Tonight respected industry casting agent Liz Mullinar has acknowledged she had heard about the incidents while she was casting on the show. But none of the victims would come forward.

“I’ve been supporting 2 victims, for probably the last 10 years, and they haven’t had the courage to go to the police. And now they’re going to go to the police.”

Speaking of the later years of the show, Mullinar said there were arrangements to replace the man.

“It was never a question of ‘we’ll try to cover it.’ Never ever.”

She said she was involved in manouvers to persuade the man to resign because there was no evidence under which he could be fired.

“The producers and Channel Seven were stuck with something everyone felt was happening but you can’t fire someone because someone sees a kid with their hand on a chest. You can’t fire someone unless the victims are prepared to go. They had an enormously difficult problem, and I have to say I was involved and they behaved, in my mind, at that time, completely correctly.”

Mullinar also said she believed there were other victims outside of the sitcom.

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