Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Eamonn Holmes slammed over remarks to rape victim on TV

Eamonn Holmes

Television presenter Eamonn Holmes has been accused of making insensitive comments to a rape victim live on air.

At the end of Hannah Cant's (20) interview, in which she relived her ordeal on ITV's This Morning programme, Holmes said: "I hope you take taxis now everywhere you go." The comments resulted in a flood of complaints pouring into the show.

Aged just 18 Ms Cant was attacked as she dropped a friend home after a night out in Wiltshire. She was walking the few metres to her own house when she was dragged into a car and raped by Jonathan Haynes, a soldier who had carried out sex attacks on two other teenagers.

Holmes (51) introduced the interview by saying: "She was on her way home from a night out with her friends and walking home - didn't take a taxi. It's that old thing, I always say.

"Why were you tempted to walk home?" At the end of the interview, he said: "I hope you take taxis now everywhere you go, coming home at night."

He then asked his wife and co-presenter Ruth Langsford: "How many times do I tell people who I know to take taxis?"

Hundreds of people took to the internet to criticise him and his "victim blaming".

Holmes has not made any reference to the blunder on Twitter, but an ITV spokeswoman said: "Eamonn was in no way suggesting the victim was in any way to blame for this horrific attack."

Background

It's not the first time Eamonn Holmes has had to apologise for comments he made on air. Earlier this month he was forced to say sorry to viewers who complained after he called Jonathan Wilkes "retarded" while reviewing newspapers on This Morning.

In a 2008 interview with Hollywood actress Salma Hayek, he got confused when she tried to explain her Lebanese surname, which she inherited from her father. Holmes said: "You're a lesbian?"

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