Sunday 4 December 2016

Radio interview wasn't meant to hurt rape victim, Hook tells his listeners

Conor Feehan and Laura Larkin

Published 16/07/2015 | 02:30

George Hook
George Hook

George Hook has said that he never intended to hurt a rape survivor with questions about "implied consent" during a discussion about the prosecution of sex crimes in Ireland.

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Niamh Nic Dhomhnaill, who waived her right to anonymity this week when her ex-partner Magnus Meyer Hustveit (25) was convicted of raping her repeatedly in her sleep, has hit out at the Newstalk presenter.

She described his comments about implied consent in the case of a married or cohabiting couple as "ignorant and insensitive".

Ms Nic Dhomhnaill (28) also said she was disappointed that it was the station she had chosen to give her first media interview to which broadcast "such crass, outdated and insulting comments", which were damaging for all victims of sexual violence.

On his show yesterday, 'The Right Hook', the presenter sought to clarify his stance.

"It has come to my attention that Ms Nic Dhomhnaill was hurt by what I said and felt that I was insensitive to her plight and to other cases. That was never my intention," Mr Hook said on air.

"I never said, and would never say, that a man has implied consent from the woman with whom he shares a bed."

Shocked

He said that he was "shocked and saddened" by the case that prompted the discussion in the first place.

During his show on Tuesday evening Mr Hook raised a hypothetical case and said he didn't want to refer specifically to the case of Ms Nic Dhomhnaill when talking with his guest Senator Ivana Bacik.

"So now you are sharing a bed with someone and obviously a sexual congress takes place on a regular basis, because you're living with somebody. Now is there not an implied consent therefore that you consent to sexual congress?" he asked.

Speaking to the Irish Independent after lodging a complaint with the radio station, Ms Nic Dhomhnaill revealed that she cried when speaking about the controversial comments with a member of Mr Hook's team.

"I told the director I was very upset and she asked what it was I wanted. I was crying I was that upset," she said.

Ms Nic Dhomhnaill has spoken out about the circumstances of her case, which saw her ex-partner handed down a suspended sentence on Monday.

The Norwegian pleaded guilty to one count of rape and one count of sexual assault between 2011 and 2012, but will not serve any jail time.

Emails in which he detailed his crimes were presented in court as evidence.

Ms Nic Dhomhnaill has said that the sentence will discourage people from coming forward.

In a series of frank interviews in recent days the Dublin woman has detailed the devastating impact Hustveit's actions have had on her life over the last number of years.

Irish Independent

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