Nine Newspapers says it stands by its reporting of indecent assault allegations against Alan Jones published in the Sydney Morning Herald after the former broadcaster labelled them “demonstrably false” and issued a legal threat towards the publisher.
The Nine Entertainment-owned Sydney Morning Herald’s story on Thursday, written by investigative reporter Kate McClymont, contained allegations — which Jones strenuously denies — from four men against the 82-year-old, alleging unwanted kissing, touching, and groping, during his radio career.
“We stand by Kate McClymont’s diligent and thorough reporting on this matter and commend the bravery of the men who have come forward to tell their difficult stories,” Tory Maguire, executive editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers, said in a statement.
It came after Jones’ lawyers, Mark O’Brien Legal, said the allegations were “demonstrably false” and they had taken an early step in commencing defamation action.
“The allegations against Alan Jones by Kate McClymont published today in the Nine newspapers are demonstrably false,” a statement from his lawyers read.
“In the short time available since publication we have obtained substantial factual information which contradicts and refutes the alleged pattern of conduct by Mr Jones.
“We have retained Senior Counsel and have instructions to immediately serve a Concerns Notice under Section 12A of the Defamation Act as the first step in the commencement of defamation proceedings. There will be no further comment by or on behalf of Mr Jones.”
The allegations published in the Sydney Morning Herald’s report were said to be made by a man who worked at Sydney radio station 2GB with Jones, a waiter who had served him at a restaurant in Kiama on the NSW south coast, an aspiring musician, and a businessman who died in 2019.
Three claimed they were in their 20s when the alleged incidents occurred.
Jones’ broadcasting career started in the mid-1980s, almost 20 years of which was spent at 2GB, now owned by Nine Radio. His presence at 2GB was pivotal in driving the station to number one in its market.
He was also a speech writer for former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser, an English teacher at Sydney’s elite King’s School, and coached Australia’s national rugby union team, the Wallabies.
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