Hey Dad! actor found guilty of sexual assault

Hey Dad! actor found guilty of sexual assault

Few people in Singapore would recognise him as a former actor from Australia.

Robert Hughes led a nondescript life here in 2010 as a voice talent.

But all that unravelled that year when allegations of him being a paedophile emerged in Australian media.

One of his co-stars, then only nine, revealed to Australian magazine Woman's Day that she had been abused while acting in the TV series Hey Dad!, which ran in Singapore in the late 1980s.

Although Ms Sarah Monahan did not name the man responsible, those in the industry said it confirmed what they had suspected for 20 years.

More women then stepped forward with similar claims. Among them, the childhood friend of Hughes' own daughter.

Hughes, 65, then left for London, but was arrested in 2012 and extradited to Australia, where he faced his accusers.

In the TV series, he played a father to two girls, but in real life, the former TV actor was anything but paternal towards the girls.

In a Sydney court this month, Hughes faced multiple charges including sexual and indecent assaults and committing an indecent act.

After a six-week trial, a jury found Hughes guilty of nine of 11 counts of sexual assault involving the girls, aged between seven and 15, reported Sydney Morning Herald.

On Thursday, as he was led away, Hughes cried out: "I'm innocent!"

His wife and daughter have always protested his innocence.

In 2010, while in Singapore, Australian journalists from A Current Affair confronted him, but he denied any wrongdoing.

And his supporters wondered why Ms Monahan, now 37 and living in the US, was breaking her silence after 20 years. She even had to deny that she had been paid for the interview.

In a post on her website, she explained why she finally decided to speak up.

"I know I was not the only person affected by inappropriate behaviour in the entertainment industry. Many other child stars are abused, many far worse than I. But through a fear of not working, they don't speak up. Instead, they end up on drugs or bad pornos."

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