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George Hook: “She Almost Had A Breakdown In Front Of Me”

In an exclusive with Pundit Arena, George Hook has spoken candidly for the first time about the fallout from his controversial rape comments last year that dominated the headlines for weeks. 

The 79-year-old was suspended by Newstalk in September 2017 after comments he made on his show claiming that victims of rape should share blame for their situation. The broadcaster was widely condemned for his statement and faced a backlash from various organisations, the public and the media.

The broadcaster admits that the ordeal had a major affect on his family.

“My eldest daughter was very hurt. In a way, I could have fielded it all fine but I saw the hurt from my family… I saw her almost have a breakdown in front of me, in tears. Every time they picked a newspaper up, there I was.”

As the controversy around the story grew, Hook faced more and more interest from the media.

“The media camped outside my door. I saw a face of the media that wasn’t very likeable.

“They’d be pushing notes through the letterbox, they were telephoning. I was sitting there watching television and they came to the window of my house and (started) banging on the window.

“You develop pretty tough skin, I’ll tell you.”

The Cork native lost his daytime slot on Newstalk as a result but has no qualms about his punishment.

“I don’t think I would have ever stopped work. If that hadn’t happened I would have just kept working and I think I would have died on the job.”

“We in the media have a responsibility so therefore if we screw up, there has to be a price so I screwed up and I paid the price. I’m in favour of paying the price even though it affected me.”

Chapter Three of perspectives goes live on Pundit Arena Facebook page at 17:00 on Thursday.

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George Hook was speaking to Pundit Arena as part of the ‘Perspectives’ series where he discussed his early life, mental health and his rugby career. You can watch Chapter One and Chapter Two of the interview below. 

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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter