Laws “I don’t believe I was cruel”

Staff Writer
pic: Toby Zerna

After a week or so where he has been widely criticised over his handling of an interview with a sexual abuse victim, John Laws is continuing to defend the interview, saying;

“Someone had to tell him, had to give him a kick in the pants. I don’t believe I was cruel to him. I don’t resile from what I said to him”.

In an interview with News, Laws has said that he believes he handled the call appropriately and that his suggestion that the caller, Brian, “have a lemonade at the pub” was intended to encourage him to get out and connect with people.

“I might have been a bit tough on Brian but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind” Laws went on to say.

The day after the call with Brian, Laws spoke with Bravehearts CEO Hetty Johnson in a conversation that become extremely heated with Johnson telling Laws that he should not speak with sexual abuse victims again as he had no idea what he was doing.

Hetty Johnson - Bravehearts CEOLaws has said that following that call he said the reaction that he had to the interview was his listeners described Hettie Johnson to him as behaving like a ‘thorough bitch’.

“I can only tell you the reaction we got here. It was mostly, in the vernacular, that Hetty Johnston behaved like a thorough bitch. It’s a word that I’m not inclined to use but listeners were.”

Laws said that he had empathy for sexual abuse victims as he had been approached when he was younger by a person in a public toilet in Sydney, however he had ‘shouted and yelled’ and ran off:

“I have had personal experience. I was disturbed by the actions of others but I was able to take appropriate action. I reacted fairly quickly. 

Everybody is different but, as I said, I’m not a psychiatrist. I can only judge people by how I feel I would behave. That’s the way you judge people, too. People (who are abused) should make it very clear that they find the actions of the other person threatening.”

Following the interviews, 2GB’s Ray Hadley said that Laws should retire, in a tirade that Laws has described as ‘childish’.

“Ray Hadley is never going to say anything pleasant about me. Ray wants to be John Laws but he can’t be because I am.

He’s a very bitter man. He has said in print he has copied every single thing that I’ve ever done. He’s simply a copiest and not a terribly good one.”


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