In the interview with music magazine Hot Press conducted on November 14, days before allegations of misconduct against him surfaced, Porter spoke about the epidemic of sexual misconduct currently plaguing the entertainment industry.
On the subject of ‘groping’ without consent, Porter told Hot Press’s Olaf Tyaransen that no matter how “provocatively” a women dresses: “If you’re grabbing her and she doesn’t want it, you’re in the wrong.”
“I would hate to tar a comedian with that brush,” said Porter, “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.”
I’ve just filed my @hotpress interview with Al Porter. We spoke just a few days before the allegations against him surfaced. The piece appears on Thursday. I fear some of his words may come back to haunt him.
— Olaf Tyaransen (@OlafTyaransen) November 20, 2017
Elsewhere, Porter says: “I don’t think I’ve sexually assaulted people in the past, but I have toured in theatres since I was a child and promiscuous behaviour was the norm.”
In an ironically presciently statement, Porter also talks about how society is at a “watershed” moment where accepted standards of behaviour are now changing.
“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.”
Echoing many of his online supporters in the aftermath of the claims against him, Porter opined on the dangers of “trial by media”.
“Trial by media isn’t a good thing. We also still have to rely on the fact that if you have been abused or assaulted you should be able to trust the Gardaí to investigate it on your behalf and for justice to prevail. The Daily Mail is not An Garda Siochana. That’s important as well.”
On November 24, The Independent reported that a man had a formal statement to gardaí at Dublin’s Pearse Street station alleging that he was sexually assaulted by Porter at a social event in the city centre. The man, believed to be in his 20s, also complained about images which were allegedly sent to him by Porter.
The Irish Sun reports that TV3 have scrapped 6 unaired episodes of the Porter-fronted Blind Date. Porter filmed twelve episodes of the show, 6 of which have already aired – with the rest scheduled to air in the New Year.
Adding to his woes, yesterday details of a podcast in which Porter told fellow comedian Des Bishop that three fellow students made allegations against him while a teengaer in Transition Year, resurfaced, reports the Irish Mirror.
In the podcast, which has since been deleted, Porter said he was cleared of any wrong-doing (“When we were in Transition Year, guys were like slapping each other on the ass and like fucking grabbing each other and I was doing it too”) and that his accusers had subsequently apologised.
© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.