A veteran Adelaide radio host has been fired after he described alleged rape victim Brittany Higgins as a “silly little girl who got drunk”.
FIVEAA’s Weekend Breakfast host Jeremy Cordeaux will not return to the show following his “inappropriate and offensive” comments about Ms Higgins, a former Liberal staffer who was allegedly raped by a colleague at Parliament House.
Another FIVEAA host, David Penberthy, announced Cordeaux’s employment had been terminated on Monday morning, reading out a prepared statement from FIVEAA and Nova Entertainment.
They apologised to Ms Higgins, and said they had “immediately taken broad action to ensure this can never happen again”.
“We acknowledge that the comments were completely inappropriate and offensive,” the statement read.
“The views expressed by Mr Cordeaux do not reflect those held by FIVEAA and Nova Entertainment, and we unequivocally withdraw them,” it said.
An online bio, removed from the Nova Entertainment website on Monday, said Cordeaux was a “radio icon and award-winning journo” with about 40 years’ experience.
He has been described as “out of touch” and a “dinosaur” by commenters on the FIVEAA Facebook page following Saturday morning’s program.
In the comments that sparked his termination, Cordeaux said: “This Ms Higgins … she’s been called a lightning rod and she’s been given an awful lot of power.
“Whether it’s been given to her by society or the media or a handful of journalists who feel they sway public opinion I don’t know.
“But I just ask myself why the prime minister doesn’t call it out for what it is: A silly little girl who got drunk.”
Ms Higgins has helped spark intense scrutiny of how women are treated in Australian politics since she came forward with an allegation of being raped by a colleague in a government minister’s office.
More allegations have surfaced against politicians and political staffers since she spoke out last month, and the prime minister is facing ongoing pressure to address concerns about gendered violence and harassment.