'I never intended to cause hurt', says George Hook after consent row
GEORGE Hook has said he never meant to hurt a young schoolteacher who revealed her experience of rape.
Niamh Nic Dhomhnaill, who bravely spoke out this week after her ex, Magnus Meyer Hustveit, was convicted of raping her repeatedly in her sleep, has hit out at the radio presenter.
She described comments made by him about "implied consent" between people in a relationship as "ignorant and insensitive".
However, on his Newstalk show The Right Hook he said it was never his intention to hurt the Dublin woman.
"It has come to my attention that Ms Nic Dhomhnaill was hurt by what I said and felt that I was insensitive to her plight and to other cases. That was never my intention," he said.
"I never said, and would never say, that a man has implied consent from the woman with whom he shares a bed."
He said that he was "shocked and saddened" by the case that prompted the discussion in the first place.
Ms Nic Dhomhnaill (28) expressed disappointment that News-talk broadcast the comments, which were damaging to all victims of sexual violence, hours after she spoke on the station.
The questions raised by Hook were "crass, outdated and insulting", she had written in a complaint about the show.
During his programme on Tuesday evening, Hook raised a hypothetical case with his guest Senator Ivana Bacik and said he did not want to refer specifically to the case of Ms Nic Domhnall.
"So now you are sharing a bed with someone, yes, and obviously a sexual congress takes place on a regular basis, because you're living with somebody," he said.
"Now, is there not an implied consent therefore that you consent to sexual congress?"
Speaking to the Herald after lodging her complaint, Ms Nic Dhonhnaill revealed the impact the comments had on her.
"I told the director I was very upset and she asked what it was I wanted. I was actually crying on the phone I was that upset," she said.
Ms Nic Dhomhnaill has spoken out about the circumstances of her case, which saw her ex-partner given a seven-year suspended sentence on Monday.
The Norwegian pleaded guilty to one count of rape and one count of sexual assault between 2011 and 2012 but will not serve any jail time.
Emails in which he detailed his crimes were presented in court as evidence. In one communication he admitted that he had raped her.
"I guess it must be under 10 times," he wrote. "Now I've written this, you can have me prosecuted. I hope you won't".
Ms Nic Dhomhnaill has said that the suspended sentence will discourage people from coming forward to report rape and other sexual violence.
In a series of frank interviews in recent days, she has detailed the impact Hustveit's actions have had on her life. She has been unable to work for some time and said it has taken away three years of her life.
The ordeal has left her a "completely different person", she said.
Meanwhile, she feels Hustveit has not faced significant consequences for his actions.
For the 25-year-old, who no longer lives in Dublin, it has been a "minor blitz", she said.