Al Porter: ‘Trial by media isn’t a good thing’
‘I don’t think I’ve sexually assaulted people,’ Porter said in interview days before allegations
Al Porter told Hot Press: “We’re at a watershed moment culturally where what is seen as decent and acceptable behaviour is going to change.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
Comedian Al Porter expressed concern about “trial by media” in an interview recorded just days before several allegations of inappropriate behaviour were made against the performer.
In the interview with Hot Press, published on Friday, he said “I don’t think I’ve sexually assaulted people in the past”.
He also stated that “trial by media isn’t a good thing. We also still have to rely on the fact that if you have been abused or assaulted you should be able to trust the gardaí to investigate it.”
The interview took place on Tuesday, November 14th. On Sunday evening Porter had resigned from Today FM, where he had presented a lunchtime show since February, following claims of inappropriate behaviour. On Monday it was confirmed he had stepped aside from his lead role in the Olympia Christmas pantomime.
In the Hot Press interview Porter said “it is my experience that if you are in a gay bar, if I had a euro for every time I was grabbed or pulled or somebody laid a kiss on me and I wasn’t expecting it at all. That kinda thing happens, for right or wrong.
“I don’t think I’ve sexually assaulted people in the past, but I have toured in theatres since I was a child and promiscuous behaviour was the norm.”
He said: “We’re at a watershed moment culturally where what is seen as decent and acceptable behaviour is going to change.”
When Porter was asked what was the worst thing written about him in the media, he said: “I don’t know. Nothing really.”
In a statement on Sunday evening Porter said he was “completely taken aback by reports in the media and on the social networks over the weekend, and by the scale and tone of the vitriol.
“While my conduct, which had been in keeping with my flamboyant and outrageous public persona may be regarded as offensive and unacceptable by many people, I at no time intended to upset anyone,” he said.