Susie O'Neill recounts Don Burke's 'crude and belittling' remarks | radioinfo

Susie O'Neill recounts Don Burke's 'crude and belittling' remarks

Tuesday 28 November, 2017

The swimmer and broadcaster has spoken out against the former TV host.

Olympic swimmer and broadcaster with Nova's 106.9 breakfast show, Susie O'Neill, is the latest to speak out against former TV presenter Don Burke, accusing him of making 'crude and belittling' comments.

A joint ABC/Fairfax investigation has uncovered claims of indecent assault, sexual harassment and bullying of women against Burke in the late 1980s and 90s.

O'Neill spoke on air this morning with Nova breakfast team Ash, Kip & Luttsy about the allegations, saying she was in her Brisbane home for an interview with Burke and two male crew members ahead of the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

As she stood in front of a large flower painting created by her husband, Burke allegedly asked: 'Is your c*** as big as that?'

The eight-time Olympic medallist said she was 'flabbergasted' by Burke's 'crude and belittling' remarks, and told her manager at the time, Nick Cummins.

'A couple of months ago I was approached by some journalists ... asking me to comment on my experience with Don Burke,' said O'Neill.

'I didn’t want to get involved, not because I condone his behaviour, but because it’s stressful to get involved.

“I read Don Burke's statement and I got quite angry…. When he was saying things about, ‘They’re just employees’ ... What do you do? Do you just hang those other women out to dry and not get involved? But for me to get involved today, I didn’t sleep last night. I’m not upset about the Don Burke thing, I’m upset about what it does to me.”

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At WSFM, Jonesy and Amanda also discussed the growing claims against Burke. 'I was asked to comment on this story, I worked at Channel 9, but I had nothing to contribute,' said Keller.

'Like everyone else, I had heard many stories about Don, and wonder if this will break the culture of this kind of stuff in the television industry.'

Co-host Brendan 'Jonesy' Jones recounted an interaction with Burke, witnessed by Jonesy's mother. 

'I've met him a few times, and always found him a nice enough fellow, but very inappropriate,' Jonesy said. 

'I remember at the Easter show one year, and I'm walking around with my mum, and then he goes on this tirade with 'F' and 'C', and I'm thinking, couldn't you tone down the language?'

'Even the bits that aren't illegal, it's the impropriety,' added Keller. 'He ruined a lot of women's careers.'

 

More than 200 people have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against Burke.

Don Burke has denied the allegations in both a written statement and interview with A Current Affair, saying on Current Affair: “I think I deserve some of this. But not the sleazy sexual stuff."

 

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