Tuesday 18 June 2019

George Hook says he paid 'very high price' for 'clumsy' comments on rape

George Hook. Pic: Marc O'Sullivan
George Hook. Pic: Marc O'Sullivan
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ahead of his return to the airwaves this weekend George Hook has said he feels he paid a "very high price" for his comments on rape, which he has called "clumsy".

The 76-year-old broadcaster, who returns to Newstalk on Saturday, also told the Irish Daily Star that he didn't care about comments aimed at him in the wake of his controversial comments made on his show in September, but he was upset about attacks made on his family.

Mr Hook's comments on his Newstalk show were made on September 8 2017 while he discussed the case of a woman (19), who alleges she was raped by a former member of the British swim team.

"Is there no blame to the person who puts themselves in danger?" he asked.

The comments were met with widespread condemnation and Mr Hook issued apologies on air on two occasions in which he clarified his position.

In one statement he said:

"It was wrong of me to suggest that any blame could be attributed to those victims or that they bear any responsibility in the crimes committed against them."

Mr Hook stepped down from hosting his lunchtime show, High Noon, on September 22.

Speaking to the Star, Mr Hook described his comments as "clumsy".

"I watched Kevin Myers on the Claire Byrne Show and Kevin said what he wrote was clumsy," said Mr Hook. "What I said was clumsy. Therefore Kevin and I paid a high price for being clumsy."

Mr Hook detailed some of the backlash his family endured in the wake of his comments.

"I'm big enough and ugly enough to take that and if you live by the sword, and die by the sword I have no problem with that," he said. "What I have a problem with is the way they attacked my family. They sent abusive letters and postcards to Ingrid [Mr Hook's wife]. They called my son's customers - his business.

"It doesn't get to me at all. I didn't lose a moment's sleep about me, I really didn't. I lost a lot of sleep over my faimily."

Mr Hook returns to the Newstalk schedule this weekend with Hook's Saturday Sit-In, which will air between 8 and 10am.

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