Belfast Telegraph

Al Porter told magazine groping 'wrong' days before resignation

Broadcaster Al Porter claimed groping is wrong in an interview with Hot Press magazine days before he resigned from national radio.

The comedian stood down from Today FM following allegations of inappropriate behaviour, insisting that he was completely taken aback by the reports.

Subsequently St Patrick's Hospital said it was investigating a complaint following claims made by a former patient about the comedian.

In a Q&A with Hot Press magazine's contributing editor Olaf Tyaransen, Porter raised concerns about trial by media.

He also said he was worried about the #metoo campaign but insisted he was not trying to apologise for people who have behaved inappropriately in the past.

Porter told the magazine: "I don't care how provocatively a woman dresses, or how late at night she arranged to have a business meeting with you.

"Or whether it was in your hotel room or not. If you're grabbing her and she doesn't want it, you're in the wrong."

In his resignation statement on Sunday, Porter described his conduct as being in keeping with his flamboyant and outrageous public persona but that it may be offensive and unacceptable to many.

He said that he had not intended to upset anyone.

In the Hot Press interview Porter also said he had heard about allegations against Kevin Spacey before they became public.

He claimed to have been unexpectedly groped and kissed countless times in gay bars.

He said: "I would hate to tar a comedian with that brush, but 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."

Porter also addressed the current spate of sex abuse allegations in the entertainment industry.

He told Hot Press: "We're at a watershed moment culturally where what is seen as decent and acceptable behaviour is going to change, but it is important that we note that this is the defining moment and, going forward, I think a lot of people are going to change their behaviour."

In his resignation Porter did not address specific allegations but said he made a personal decision to take time away from the spotlight after decades in the entertainment industry.

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