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Former Wallabies coach accused of indecently assaulting young men

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 7 Dec 2023, 9:58am
Alan Jones. Photo / AP
Alan Jones. Photo / AP

Former Wallabies coach accused of indecently assaulting young men

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 7 Dec 2023, 9:58am

Long considered one of the most influential and formidable figures in Australia, Alan Jones is now facing accusations of using his position of power to prey on multiple young men, engaging in indecent assaults and inappropriate behaviour without their consent. 

The renowned broadcaster and former Wallabies coach, 82, vehemently denies the allegations. 

The Sydney Morning Herald has revealed a former 2GB employee, who claims to have been a victim of repeated assaults by Jones, emphasised the severity of the allegations saying, “What he did to me was a criminal offence. He cannot die without people knowing what he’s done.” 

One victim, identified as Brad Webster because he does not want his name to be linked with Jones forever, recounted harrowing experiences of unwanted advances and assaults by Jones. Webster was 20 when he started working for the radio host at the Sydney network. 

“He was more powerful than the prime minister,” Webster said. “He could pick up the phone to John Howard and demand for things to be done.”. 

A quiet, shy young man, Webster said he was happy to start at the bottom. “I did every shit job there was … in the world of 2GB, I was very small, you couldn’t get any smaller than me.” 

One of his jobs was to drive to Jones home from 2GB’s Pyrmont studios to his apartment in the Circular Quay building. 

“During those 10 minutes, it would be wandering hands and then it just gradually became him grabbing my dick. And he would go for it. It was horrible. 

“He knew I wasn’t gay, so it was about power dynamics. I would be driving and he would have put his hand on my leg, and then you’d sort of push his hand away, just try and wriggle out. But you’re driving, you’re absolutely trapped … he’d go the grope, he’d rub my penis.” 

Webster, who carried Jones’ bags up to his apartment, alleged to The Sydney Morning Herald that when he was in the lift Jones would corner him and forcibly kiss him on the lips. 

“It was forced on me. It was unwanted from a position of power. 

“If a 65-year-old man had pushed a 20-year-old woman into the corner of a lift, and began to kiss them non-consensually, what do we call that? We call that assault. That’s what he did to me.” 

Once in Jones’ apartment, he would slip into a dressing gown and head to his office while Webster was assigned chores, including ironing Jones’ underpants. 

When Webster would ask to leave, Webster alleges Jones – who was naked underneath the red gown – would swivel around “and his nuts were just hanging out, it made you sick”, he said. 

“There’s no doubt that at the time when all this was going on, I truly felt helpless, you feel helpless,” Webster said. “The power he had was ridiculous. You cannot quantify the power that that man had.” 

One former producer, who asked not to be named due to fear of reprisals, said that while he didn’t see Jones touching genitals, “I did see inappropriate behaviour and I saw it on a number of occasions.” 

The producer said Jones’ petting and pawing of young men was “uninvited”, “predatory”, “brazen” and “absolutely confronting”. 

Jones, he said, “would be all over them – he wouldn’t take his hands off them”. 

Businessman Alexander Hartman, prior to his death, reportedly confided in four journalists, expressing his desire for justice before Jones’ death. 

Hartman alleged Jones “forces himself on young men and uses his power in a predatory way”. 

The Sydney Morning Herald, after sending detailed questions to Jones, received a statement from the law firm Mark O’Brien Legal. The statement vehemently denied the allegations, calling them scandalous, grossly offensive, and seriously defamatory. 

In 1984, Jones was elected coach of the Wallabies, taking over from Bob Dwyer, and coached Australia until early 1988. The team won 102 matches making him the most successful Australian rugby coach ever. His teams won 23 Tests out of 30, and four of those losses were by just a point. 

In 1986, Jones coached the Wallabies to Australia’s history-making Bledisloe Cup victory in New Zealand, the first time such a victory had been achieved in 39 years. The Wallabies were only the second team in rugby history to win a series against New Zealand on their home ground. 

In 2020, Jones announced the end of his radio career. According to reports at the time, 2GB quickly lost advertising after Jones called Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern “a complete clown” a year earlier. 

Jones drew flak from all quarters after telling his listeners Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison should “shove a sock down the throat” of Ardern. Jones had taken umbrage after he thought Ardern had been critical of Australia’s efforts to tackle climate change. 

Jones later apologised to Ardern, saying he never intended to suggest any violence towards her when he said he wanted to “shove a sock down [her] throat”. 

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