Ex-staffers detail Hadley abuse, reject apology
Broadcaster Ray Hadley went on air to apologise on Monday for any hurt he may have caused his old producer as more former staffers took to social media to detail the abuse they allegedly endured.
Hadley decided to speak out after his former panel operator Chris Bowen posted on Facebook that he "suffered mental health problems" after "16 years of intense bullying".
But even as Hadley was apologising on air, former staffers were posting that they had been "screamed at" by the radio host with ex-2GB employee Jesse Chard describing a "blistering shrieking tirade".
And Macquarie Media - the owners of 2GB - yesterday issued an email to all staff encouraging them to come forward if they had any concerns about bullying.
The email from chief executive Adam Lang also said that Hadley was "deeply affected" by the furore but it had yet to receive "any details" from Bowen about the allegations.
Hadley said Bowen was "a young bloke, full of cheek and full of ability, through our years together we became very close - probably more like a father and son relationship".
"Given what he had to deal with personally I tried as best I could to help him through some very difficult situations," he said. "At times our relationship could be volatile, he would go off and so could I."
Hadley said he was MC at Bowen's wedding and had "tried to help him as much as I could".
"I am regretful I wasn't more supportive. I am sorry for any hurt I have caused him," he said.
But Bowen rejected the apology and said he suspected behind the scenes that he was being discussed in less than flattering terms.
He posted a text Hadley had sent him after he complained about the bullying to Macquarie Radio chairman Russell Tate.
In it Hadley wrote: "That's your entire problem - you thought you had the ability to go straight to the chairman over everyone's head - you've learned nothing - no more texts thanks."
Tate had previously called Hadley a "psychotic bully" after he was recorded verbally abusing producer Richard Palmer. The star was briefly suspended before the case was settled out of court.
On Monday former 2GB staffer Chard posted about a 15-minute spray from Hadley where he claimed he was sworn at and told "he would 'drag me by my f … ing ear' " and threatened with losing his job.
"It was a vitriolic rage because he did not like a satirical piece I had written on the website," he said. "It actually had nothing to do with him."
As a result of what he said was regular abuse Chard suffered "crippling panic attacks" one of which left him writhing and spasming on the kitchen floor. "Almost every day I had at least 3-4 of them working at that radio station, some days I needed to rush out of the building in terror," he wrote.
Others added their names to the posts. Former presenter Mark Kennedy wrote: "I, too, was bullied by Ray Hadley … and 2GB did nothing." Siobhan Moylan, a former producer for Hadley's program, wrote in support of Bowen's initial post saying: "Bullies prey on vulnerable little sweeties - like you were when we were young at GB."
Former producer Lisa Casey wrote: "I also had a massive spray from Ray, over something as minor as footy tips on the website. He hauled the web team into the studio while news was on, and screamed at everyone."
Ex-newsreader Joel Labi clarified his posting on the toxic environment at 2GB to say Hadley "always treated me fairly".
A spokesman for Macquarie Media said all staff "are required to adhere to a policy which includes a responsibility to maintain a safe working environment and report any matters of concern".
Macquarie Media declined to comment on reports two more staff had made complaints about Hadley yesterday.