Comedian and TV host Tom Ballard has denied an allegation that he sexually assaulted a man in 2014.
In a post on Facebook on Saturday, the man alleged that Ballard indecently assaulted him in a hotel room in June 2014, Fairfax Media reported.
The man said he went to the police but the investigation didn’t go further because Ballard “hadn’t gone outside of the confines of the law,” according to the report.
Ballard, who hosts ABC series Tonightly, said in a statement that addressing the allegation was “extremely difficult” but necessary after its publication on social media.
“I have become aware of a claim being made about me,” the comedian said.
“It involves an allegation of sexual assault: an allegation that I completely deny in the strongest terms possible.
“It fundamentally goes against who I am as a person and everything I believe in.
“Four years ago I had a consensual sexual experience with someone. I had absolutely no idea he believed it wasn’t consensual until six months ago.
“His version of that experience as described on social media is simply not what happened.”
Ballard said the claim had been “deeply distressing” for him, his family and friends.
“It has affected my work and my mental health,” he said.
“I abhor sexual assault and sexual violence. I absolutely support the philosophy of the #MeToo movement. I believe in supporting victims and ensuring those who have done wrong face justice.
“But I have not done anything wrong. Any suggestion otherwise is false, deeply distressing and unhelpful.”
An ABC spokesperson said the broadcaster was aware of the allegation and Ballard’s denial.
“The ABC takes any allegation of harassment very seriously and does not condone or tolerate any inappropriate behaviour,” the spokesperson said.
“All ABC employees are made aware of and must abide by our discrimination, bullying and harassment policy at all times.
“We have no further comment to make at this stage.”
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