Sacked radio host John Caldwell has alleged he suffered years of bullying at his former radio station KIIS FM and has accused its parent company ARN of “discrimination due to him being gay”.
Caldwell, who hosted KIIS FM’s Celeb HQ in Sydney with former colleague Zoe Marshall, reportedly had his contract terminated by ARN last month after an ARN staffer made a complaint about an unspecified incident.
The former entertainment correspondent has now filed legal action against ARN for “bullying, permitting a homophobic culture, discrimination due to him being gay and for his sacking,” Mumbrella reported.
Caldwell alleged in a statement he had suffered from “years of bullying” while working for ARN, which made him “feel suicidal at times”.
He claimed he “repeatedly complained” about the issues to management, telling them he would need to leave if they were not addressed.
“Despite his numerous complaints to ARN, nothing meaningful was done to address his issues,” the statement alleges.
“After Mr Caldwell escalated the seriousness of his complaints, he was sacked by ARN in October after an alleged complaint from another KIIS FM employee.
“He was not told any details of the complaint and was at no stage interviewed or asked for his side of the story.”
Caldwell said he “now believes” the alleged incident occurred at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards in Melbourne and it involved an “aggressive verbal attack” against him by an employee that included words to the effect of “you’re a homo”, “poofter”, “fucking faggot” and “I’m not a fucking faggot”.
“Later the same evening, the aggressive verbal attack was continued by the fellow employee,” the statement read.
“Prior to his sacking, and shortly after the ACRAs, Mr Caldwell made a complaint about the homophobic verbal attack he had been subjected to.”
But a spokesperson for ARN said they “are not aware of any proceedings commenced against KIIS FM or ARN by John Caldwell, and will rigorously defend any claims if they commence.”
“John Caldwell’s contract was ended in October. Due to privacy reasons we don’t comment on individual contracts however John was given the reasons for his contract ending,” the spokesperson said.
“ARN prides itself on its passionate work in the area of diversity and inclusion, particularly with LGBTQI initiatives and the broader community.”
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