Kyle and Jackie O re-traumatise a child rape victim on air. (with audio and transcript)

Kyle Sandilands, you’re not just a prat, you’re an abusive douchebag.

I have a feeling Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O are going to be getting accolades on the “sensitive” way in which they handled this segment.

Kyle and Jackie run a radio show on 2Day FM. They include a segment called “Lie Detector”. They accepted participation from a mother who wanted to quiz her obviously-reluctant daughter on she had wagged school, taken drugs, or had sex.

WA Today: Girl’s rape revelation sinks radio stunt

[transcript below the cut]

Any praise will be undeserved. They deserve to have brickbats coming out of their ears. They deserve to be sacked. They deserve to never work again in a job with contact with people.

Because what decent human would ever, EVER think that it’s appropriate to quiz a fourteen year old girl on whether she’s “had sex with older boys” on air? What parent, what radio producer would think that it’s ok to quiz a girl on whether she’s been raped? Because that’s what “having sex with” older boys would ALWAYS be. Rape. Child rape. They decided to quiz a girl about rape on public radio.

And then they acted surprised and shocked when they got a “yes”.

And if they hadn’t quizzing her about “older boys”, if they had been quizzing her about sex with people her own age – they’d still be sexually exploiting a minor on air, asking her about her sex life for entertainment. Last time I looked? That was a crime.

And then, then? AFTER her rape revelation, Kyle continued to try to question her about whether that’s the only sexual experience she’s had.

He eventually takes Jackie’s cue to shut the fuck up.

But offering counselling doesn’t fix this. This should never have been done in the first place.


[intro music]

Jackie O: Here’s a little quick recap before we do the Lie Detector.

Mum: Um, last Thursday night she went to bed at nine o’clock. I gave her a kiss goodnight, and 2:30 in the morning I got a knock on the door from two undercover police bringing her home.

Jackie: What’s your worst fear? Is it the sex, is it the lying, is it possibly doing drugs, smoking… what do you think?

Mum: Um… drugs and sex. And older boys.

Jackie: Yeah.

Mum: Yeah, and older boys.

Jackie: Do you think – has she actually told you she’s had sex before, or do you think she’s a virgin?

Mum: I think she – might have had sex before.

Jackie: Right, but she hasn’t said anything?

Mum: No.

Kyle: Have you asked about the drugs? And things like that?

Mum: Yes, I know for a fact that she’s been smoking marijuana.

Kyle: Right, so she’s admitted that, has she?

Jackie: So you want to know if she’s doing anything harder than marijuana then?

Mum: Yes, yes.

Jackie: Alright, we have her hooked up to the Lie Detector! She’s not happy! I just saw her listening to that [bleep]

Daughter: I’m scared. It’s not fair.

Jackie: It wouldn’t be fair on any kid, I tell you. No – they’re sympathising…

Kyle: Is that true, Charles? Is that true?

Charles: That is true.

?Kyle: She is scared, everyone, yeah.

Jackie: Yeah. Mum, you have a series of questions that you’re going to ask your daughter, and [name bleeped], you reply either Yes or No, and then it will be picked up on the Lie Detector whether [with a laugh in her voice] you are telling the truth or you are lying. Ok Mum, what do you want to start with?

Mum: OK, about school. [name bleeped] recently started a new school, and I want to know: Have you wagged at your new school?

Daughter: I have not wagged at my new school.

Jackie: So the answer would be no?

Daughter: No, I haven’t.

Charles: Now, that’s a fail.

Daughter: I haven’t wagged! Are you kidding me?

Charles: I’m just calling it…

Daughter: I haven’t bloody wagged!

Jackie [laughing]: Poor Charles is going to cop it this morning!

Kyle: You’re not within arms reach there are you Charles?

Jackie: Yeah he is!

Daughter: He is.

Jackie: So the Lie Detector’s saying you have…

Daughter: I haven’t wagged!

Jackie: What’s happening here, Charles?

Charles: Well maybe she’s skipped a class or something like that.

Jackie: Have you done that, skipped a class?

Daughter: No! I haven’t!

Mum: Have you left there early?

Daughter: No. I haven’t.

Kyle: Could it come up a fail – like, have you had a sick day or something, where you bunged on a bit of a sickie, and you thought …

Daughter: Oh, yeah, plenty of them.

Kyle: Could that be it? Yep.

Jackie: Well, that’s it apparently. Yep. Ok, what’s your next question, Mum?

Mum: OK. Have you had sex?

Daughter: [quieter] I’ve already told you the story of this. And don’t look at me and smile, because it’s not funny. [louder, announcing with bravado] OH, OK. I got raped when I was twelve years old.


Kyle: Right. And is that the, is that the only experience you’ve had?

[huffing sound – is this the daughter fake-laughing in disbelief?]

Mum: I only found out about that, um, a couple of months ago. Yes, I knew about that.

Daughter: And yet you still asked me the question.

Mum: The question was, have you had sex other than that.

Jackie: [name bleeped] I’m really sorry, we didn’t actually know that that was the case, and I think that we might actually abort this segment. I had no idea that you’ve been through that, so I’m really sorry. And we’ll just let you off the hook, I think. I think it’s best not to continue. Are you alright? It’s ok, you just take a breather, it’s fine.

We always have counselling services here. [Name bleeped] Have you had any counselling over this issue?

Mum: No, she’ hasn’t.

Jackie: OK, well we have all the right people in place if you need any help or support in regards to that. Which it sounds like you might. I’m really sorry; I had no idea that this had happened to you. I don’t think we would have gone ahead with that had we known.

OK honey, we’ll just let you go for a while.

I’m sorry, I didn’t realise that that was…

Kyle: OK, Mum, sorry. Look we needed to, we, that’s something we probably should have known before we started this.

?Mum: Yeah, definitely.

Kyle: So let’s do that, let’s get you – if you guys haven’t had any counselling, or any, anyone to talk to about that, we’re happy to pick up the bill for that. We’ve got ’em here. Do you want that, Mum?

Mum: [quietly] Yes, I think that would be good. That would be good.

Kyle: OK, well that might um, that might, going through that might answer some of the questions that you guys are having difficulty communicating with.

Mum: OK. Yup.

Kyle: OK, [name bleeped] Thanks for coming in, darl. Sorry about that. OK, we’re out, everyone. Jackie’s got some news coming up.

[outro music]

Note: comments that attempt to lay all blame on the mother and exonerate the radio station may be either deleted, disemvowelled, or vigorously argued with, depending on my mood at the time.

Categories: gender & feminism, media, relationships, violence

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

52 replies

  1. I think the bit where Kyle KEPT ASKING questions was the part where I teared up. I get the impression he would have blithely kept going with the “interview”!
    To rub salt in the wound, he then turns around and seems to be implying it’s Mum’s fault entirely (“We should’ve been told about this”) instead of, you know, accepting the responsibility of quizzing a fourteen year old about rape!

  2. O.M.G. I can’t believe that any adult thought quizzing a 14 year old on live radio was a good idea. That is appalling. The radio station should also make a hefty donation to a rape counselling service. Kyle should just resign.

  3. It’s an onion of horror. Some of the layers:
    She was raped. She had to talk about it on air in order to stop being interrogated for the amusement of a radio audience. One adult of the three major speakers was aware of the rape prior to airing. A child’s right (moral, I have no idea what the legal status is) to reasonable privacy from her parents was violated. The other adults involved, both announcers and presumably station management and staff, seem to have designed a regular segment around publicly revealing and stirring conflicts for entertainment, which was bound to hurt someone badly some day (someone admitting abuse, someone subsequently being abused for their answers, someone being abused for having been judged as liar). They either failed to consider this or considered that it would be worth the entertainment value. This segment seemingly included people who didn’t freely consent. This segment included a child whose reluctance and lack of free consent went to air.
    It’s really horrible, both the particular case and the segment that seems tailored to escalate dangerous, hurtful and abusive situations to this level.

  4. I thought the girl handled herself with more dignity and sophistication than any of the adults in that pathetic excuse for radio.
    I was also disgusted that they used the girl’s name and not the mother’s. They need to protect “mum”s privacy?
    The fact that this man has a job is mind-boggling before this, and his carrying on with the interview? Gaaahhhh!!!
    And yeah, if they always have counselors, why didn’t they refer this mother to them in the first place if they thought this 14 yr old was likely to be in this much trouble? There is no excuse for putting this girl on air, with or without knowledge of the rape.
    I’m shouting in agreement again. What you said, Lauredhel.

  5. Oh. I feel ill 😦 That’s just ghastly.
    I’m stunned that the producers could have thought for one minute that this was a good idea. How utterly depressing.

  6. Now being reported in the Sydney media. Apparently you need to complain directly to the station and if they don’t take it seriously enough the Australian Communications and Media Authority can act. This is a link to their complaints form – – note that you have to fax it in.

  7. The poor kid was surrounded by mindless idiots.
    At least 3 adults – Kyle, Jackie O and her Mother failed to show an ounce of basic decency towards the girl.
    What cruel and nasty behaviour

  8. Thanks for the post Lauredhel, and thanks Mary for pointing out that onion of horror analogy. This in particular has been bugging me:

    The other adults involved, both announcers and presumably station management and staff, seem to have designed a regular segment around publicly revealing and stirring conflicts for entertainment, which was bound to hurt someone badly some day

    in the face of various defences.

  9. It turns my stomach, I tell you. You were able to communicate your disgust much better than I. It’s all a little triggering for me, I had no idea about what Kyle and Jackie O had done when I clicked the link at the news site. I just – being strapped into a chair and made to admit that – that’s deeply disturbing. That is not entertainment, that’s a violation. I weep for humanity, I really do. I just don’t have the words. I had a low opinion of Kyle before but now, he’s just fucking sociopathic. I needs to go away. Now. Not be in the public eye anymore. He’s a blight.

  10. Now being reported in the Sydney media. Apparently you need to complain directly to the station and if they don’t take it seriously enough the Australian Communications and Media Authority can act. This is a link to their complaints form – – note that you have to fax it in.
    Thanks for that Mindy. Now who has the phone number for social services..?

    • A lurker has let me know:

      The 24-hour DoCS Helpline is 132 111, and anybody who is concerned about a
      child in NSW who is at risk of harm of abuse or neglect should contact that
      number with their information. In an emergency for an ambulance or police
      obviously the best number remains 000.

      The department is apparently already aware of the situation, so no need to go in with boots and all, but some short, civil calls to register concern are probably unlikely to be wasted. Records are kept of numbers of complaints in these departments. ETA: Actually, please don’t do what I suggested in the deleted text. That number is a helpline, for urgent cases where people know the child’s details in full.
      Calls to ACMA on the other hand would probably be extremely useful as would calls to Austereo.

  11. This is absolutely horrific.

  12. DEM, SDoCS is investigating;

    Good onion analogy, Mary. V. true. Add an extra layer for the mother being solely blamed now occurring on comments boards across the land.

  13. This whole story makes me very sad. Jackie-O seemed to handle the situation pretty well, but Kyle’s continued questioning, and the entire premise of the show, is incredibly horrible. I can’t believe her mother knew about it, and yet still asked the question. And she seemed almost smug about it!

    • Twitter coverage. @clembastow notes new hash tags – #sandilandsisadouche #SackKyleAndJackieO #2DayFM and asks:

      ”A thought: if ‘The Chaser’ was pulled for two weeks for skit involving “fake” kids, will @kyleandjackieo be pulled for involving a real one?”

  14. Good Lord. And then Kyle has the guts to say he was “side-swiped” and “stunned” by the girl’s revelation that she was raped.
    If you ask a 14 year old if she’s had sex, you are asking if she has been raped, Kyle.
    You douche.

  15. I also think it’s telling that his whiny post on Punch features a final paragraph wherein he asks all the offended folks to think about how we’d feel if someone told us on radio they were raped. Which I think betrays his complete lack of a concept that a sizeable number of the folks hurt and offended and angry are, y’know, rape victims.

  16. This is so appalling. In so many levels. It seems like a monumental fail from all the adults surrounding that child.

  17. Sickening as this whole mess is, I find something to be positive about. I’ve just had a look at the linked ABC news article, and it seems the comment thread here could be cut and pasted in without making any noticeable difference in the tone of the comments overall. To me, that’s a positive reflection on Australian culture, and a positive reflection on the Australian people – particularly when one often gets directed to similar articles and stories in the US or UK online media and press with warnings *not* to read the comments in response.
    Admittedly, this may be partially due to audience self-selection on the part of the ABC readers and commenters. But I do hope that the general tone of “this kind of thing is wrong and unacceptable” is something which is representative of Australian society as a whole. I hope that poor child manages to find herself some peace (and I dearly hope Social Services are able to arrange for the poor little blighter to have a bit of privacy and time away from school as well – I’ve no doubt some of her well-meaning school “chums[1]” have heard the interview, recognised her voice, and kicked the high school rumour mill into high gear to shred any sort of reputation she might have had) and some space to recuperate from the whole traumatic mess. I also dearly hope the kid has some sane and sensible kin or family friends who are willing and able to point out to her mother in great and highly redundant detail why this sort of thing is a Bad Thing To Do.
    While I’m waving a hopeful teaspoon, is there any way of setting up a trust fund for the kid to use for psych treatment of her choice if she feels she needs it? I know from personal experience that getting the kinks in one’s psyche ironed out is neither easy nor cheap, and also that getting the right therapist for the patient can help one hell of a lot. Heck, even a general fund for the use of any person who had been raped as a minor might be a start. Or even a general fund for anyone who feels they could benefit from psychological help but can’t afford the cost of therapy, or something like that.
    [1] “chum” – the type of acquaintance one would dearly wish to see used for shark bait.

  18. Just the thought of interrogating a child on public media about any of this… it’s not funny, it’s not entertaining. Maybe she hadn’t been raped, but maybe her mom takes her home and beats her afterward for any revelation she gave, or for refusing to admit to any of it because mom thinks she did it anyway. Maybe dad finds out and blabs it all to family and friends, making her a target of mockery. You don’t know what’s going to happen to a child because of this, you can’t guarantee the parents aren’t abusive just by interacting with them, and honestly I think it’s an invasion of privacy even in the most ideal of situations — but most people wouldn’t be persuaded well by that.

  19. And just who at the station decided that the public and humiliating interrogation of an unwilling minor was acceptable programming? Why wasn’t it stopped the moment the girl said she was frightened rather than harping on about the machine saying it was true?
    And who the hell thinks a lie-detector is accurate anyway?
    As for the mother … well I can see how it is. You find out that your barely teenage daughter has been raped, do you:
    A) get her immediate professional counselling and emotional support
    B) bully her into accepting public humiliation on a tacky radio show
    Tough call.

  20. One basic, legal question. Does this incident meet the statutory definition of ‘child abuse’? (There’s definite suggestion of exploitation, coercion and mental cruelty.) Should the police be involved?

  21. I think one of the sickest things about this is that the mother knew that her child had been assaulted and yet persisted to offer her up to be exploited yet again. It makes me positively ill. Also the fact that Kyle was more than willing to continue the questions before he caught the hint reveals a lot about him. He clearly saw nothing wrong with continuing this invasion. For the record the girl did not have sex she was raped and there is a world of difference between the two. There intentions were always to cause harm to this child even if they did not know what happened to her. She clearly said that she was scared and the cared more about ratings than the damage that they could do to her.

    So the advice from ACMA (echoing Mindy @ comment 6) is that they can do nothing unless people first complain *in writing to 2DayFM*, and if unsatisfied, to *then* write to ACMA.
    Go here, and you can download a complaint form for 2DayFM:
    Then here for the ACMA form
    Kyle Sandilands:
    ‘‘We’re not on a time delay, but even if we were, I wouldn’t have dumped the segment,’’
    When asked if it was appropriate for a 14-year-old to be questioned about her sex life , he said: ‘‘Our show is a real-life show, not some Punch and Judy pre-scripted show. We deal with a lot of real situations and sexuality is one them. I would never have asked the girl those questions myself. It was her mother who asked those questions.’’
    Ah…see I hate to be a pedant here Kyle…but you *did* as the girl those questions yourself. AFTER you heard she’d been raped…at twelve.
    Austereo’s head of content, Guy Dobson, said the hosts were not to blame. ‘‘If someone rings in and drops a bombshell, is it necessarily our fault?’’ he said.
    No, but she didn’t ‘ring in’ did she? She was hooked to a lie detector, against her will. They confirmed with the test administrator that she was indeed frightened. They concurred that it was not fair. But they went ahead.

  23. While it’s all too tempting to dump it all on Sandilands, as he’s been playing up to the shock jock image for years, revelling in being radio’s bad-boy and a professional jerk, Jackie O is getting off too lightly. She was willing in the first place to go along with the unwilling minor being hooked up to the lie detector to be asked questions about her sex life, and she was the one right there in the studio, while Sandilands was across the Tasman.
    She’s played good cop to his bad cop on air for years now. She’s no dupe, she’s a willing accomplice. He needs her playing the nice-lady to put his bad-boy schtick into sharp relief. I rarely have anything complimentary to say about the Hun, but I’ll pay their headline labelling them Tacky O and Vile – perfect.
    In the end, it’s all about 2Day making money from getting willing ears to listen to this sensationalist crap. They’re the ones who should be most ashamed of all.

  24. Dave Hughs was also attempting to capitalise on this last night on that new 7pm show on Ten. I had to turn it off in a hurry because this is a huge trigger for me so I don’t know what was said but that show is ostensibly comedy so I hate to think.
    Sandilands has been a head I’ve wanted to punch for a while now. Last year on Idol he made a comment about “the skanks in the front row” meaning the very young girlteens in the audience of course.
    Anyone else planning to write a complaint to 2Day over this? I think a big stink needs to be kicked up over this.

  25. Ah yeah I see FP is onto it. Sorry, had to skim the comments so as to remain as untriggered as possible.

  26. The person who needs to be sacked here is the producer, or whoever is in charge of approving guests. As soon as a child was put in that situation abuse was happening, no matter what she did or didn’t go on to reveal. Hell, I want to see every last person involved in that shameful episode canned, not just the public faces or a designated scapegoat.

  27. When complaining to the relevant authorities we have to address how the segment breaches the commercial radio code of conduct. I’ve had a look (via FP’s links) at the Code and I feel that the segment was a clear violation of the guidelines on the portrayal of women on commercial radio, which state
    ‘2. ensuring that reporting and “on-air” discussions respect the dignity of women and are non-exploitive’
    also I feel that the segment breached the first part of the code of practice which describes programs unsuitable for broadcast
    ‘1.5 (a) All program content must meet contemporary standards of decency, having regard to the likely characteristics of the audience of the licensee’s service’
    While their was a heck of a lot more wrong with what happened than the breach of the above points, complaints to the ACMA and 2DayFM have to address the specific breaches in order to be taken seriously.

  28. (Oops wrong ‘their’ up there, gahh when will I learn to proof read?)
    I second Tigtog @25 and orlando @28.

  29. Sandilands last night said
    “There was no breach of any radio code. What I’m most annoyed about is that some of the press have jumped on this and made it out to be a stunt and a ratings ploy,”
    Sorry Kyle but there WAS a breach of the code, and starting your show this morning by saying that yesterday was a “weird” day just shows how insensitive and stupid you and your co-host are, and how completely oblivious you are to not just the harm that occurred but the inherent wrongness of the set up in the first place.

  30. The whole thing reveals to me how low commercial radio will go. Sandilands is an arsehole, but worse, he’s a stupid arsehole and doesn’t appear to have anyone with any intelligence overseeing what he says or does. At least JackieO, who isn’t exactly a strategic genius either, reacted with concern for the child. The whole situation would never have arisen if someone (anyone!) with any nous had been involved in the planning and selection of ‘victims’ for the ‘lie detector’. These things don’t happen in a vacuum; they happen within a management structure. Massive fail on all levels.

  31. I listened to it once and was nauseated, but the worst moment came from listening it through again. Look at the exchange before the interview.
    “Jackie: Do you think – has she actually told you she’s had sex before, or do you think she’s a virgin?
    Mum: I think she – might have had sex before.
    Jackie: Right, but she hasn’t said anything?
    Mum: No. ”
    The mom here must be thinking of her daughter’s rape at this point. Worse and worse.
    Best wishes to the daughter full of anger.

  32. Quixotess – the other thing that exchange reveals is that they suspected beforehand that what they might come across is a case of statutory rape. AND YET THEY STILL CONTINUED.
    I just want to give this poor child a hug.

  33. Ok, I have been busy, but I need some help to make it better:
    Interestingly, when I went to register the domain had already been taken, but there’s no site up as yet. Perhaps a preemptive move by Austereo to control the domain?

  34. I don’t think Austereo got the .com, the person who owns it is on Twitter

  35. Although I wonder if he actually spelt Jackie correctly when he registered it? He’s misspelled it in that tweet.

  36. hey yall, keef here
    made a short vid on my thoughts on the matter
    have a gander salamander

  37. The story on now quotes Hetty Johnston praising the girl for “breaking the silence” around child assault, but nothing about the way she was treated on the radio. I don’t know if they’re just being selective with quotes, but I can’t see anything on the media section of Bravehearts’ website.

  38. Yeah I saw that too. Maybe we should also direct our complaints to 19Entertainment. The contact details are on their home page.

  39. ‘‘Our show is a real-life show, not some Punch and Judy pre-scripted show. We deal with a lot of real situations and sexuality is one them.”
    So it’s sexuality when someone rapes you, is it Kyle?

  40. I’m more annoyed by this; ” It seems to be quite a big deal in every other media organisation except for mine.’’
    The guy is just so effing smug about it all, he’s all like “ner ner you can’t get me!”.
    And this; “’s just one of these things, unfortunately rape happens in society”.
    He’s still completely oblivious to his own contribution to rape culture by dismissing it as something that “just happens” rather than actually giving it some thought and examining his role in the social hierarchy.

  41. What infuriates me is when the commentary veers into implying that the problem started with the girl revealing that she’d been raped. The problem started with putting a child on air with every intention of publicly questioning her about her sexual experiences. It continued with a child saying “I’m scared, this isn’t fair” and the people who heard her say that not shutting it down right then.

  42. Every follow-up comment I’ve read made by that Kyle shithead adds insult to injury. In one instance he talks about how sad it is that everyone is using this girl’s rape to get at him. Yeah Kyle, that’s the sad bit. In another he talks about how he wishes he’d picked his first words after her bombshell more “cleverly”, but he was just so shocked. Well, I actually don’t care at what stage of her interrogation he directly questioned her about her sexual experience, at no stage was it going to be anything other than abusive for him to do so, and choosing just after a rape disclosure was obscene timing. I hate the way so many people have been qualifying their criticism of him by saying he must have been so shocked by the girl’s revelation. Well, if you can’t think on your feet, you shouldn’t be in that line of business. And it’s an odd thing, but when I hear a rape disclosure, the first thing that pops into my head is not to ask for further details of the person’s sexual experiences.
    In another instance he says everyone in the room was very upset by the whole thing “not just the mother and daughter.” Gee, we don’t want to get too focussed on the victim here at the expense of the abusers’ feelings.
    All I can hope for is that with every vile, stupid remark he makes he digs a deeper hole for himself.

  43. SMH is reporting that their show is indefinite recess. Austereo is reported as saying that Sandilands’ management has told them he is “unable to work”.

  44. SMH is reporting that their show is indefinite recess.
    Thank goodness.
    Austereo is reported as saying that Sandilands’ management has told them he is “unable to work”.
    Why do I feel as though he’s going to spin this as a “but you should feel sorry for poor traumatised MEEEEE!” thing? :/

  45. Glad to know with the indefinite suspension of this program that sometimes, eventually, the appropriate response occurs…

  46. Beppie: “Why do I feel as though he’s going to spin this as a “but you should feel sorry for poor traumatised MEEEEE!” thing? :/”
    Because, typically, that’s the response of sexist bullies the world over and Sandilands’ modus operandi. Glad the show is indefinitely suspended, hope it never comes back and I hope that AMCA (toothless tiger that is it) finds that the show breached the codes of practice and sends a message that child exploitation will not be tolerated.

  47. Idol has sacked him. No ifs, no buts, just gonskis. And while the radio stuff needs to be reviewed in terms of approvals of stunts and segments by producers, this can only add pressure to the station to do so. And the man is just AWFUL.

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