News National ‘Hey Dad!’ cast speaks

‘Hey Dad!’ cast speaks

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The cast of Hey Dad! have described the heavy personal toll from speaking out against its former star, Robert Hughes.

Hughes sexually and indecently assaulted young girls during the 1980s and 1990s, at the height of his fame playing Martin Kelly in the hit Seven Network sitcom.

Some of the allegations against Hughes were raised in the 1990s.

But it took a paid television interview by Hey Dad! actor Sarah Monahan in 2010 to spark a broader police investigation, with more than 200 people interviewed.

Hughes was extradited from London in 2012 and was found guilty of 10 counts of sexual and indecent assault at Sydney’s district court on Tuesday, following a seven-week trial.

“I guess I’m vindicated now,” Monahan told Nine Network’s A Current Affair on Wednesday.

“I’m not sure what was worse … back in the day when nobody knew or the four years since I did go public, and I spent all those years with people saying I was just making it up for fame or money.”

I spent all those years with people saying I was just making it up

Monahan revealed that her mother had not spoken to her since she raised the allegations against Hughes on A Current Affair in 2010.

Other former Hey Dad! cast members who supported Monahan through the ordeal described the cost of speaking out against Hughes.

Ben Oxenbould, who played `Ben’ in the sitcom, said he’d been shunned by people within show business for supporting Monahan.

“Four years ago after we spoke I copped a lot of criticism from people, particularly in the industry saying `You idiot, you’ll never work again – you’ve just buried your career’,” he added.

“… I’ve had executive producers say `Benny we wanted you for that role but mate’ … and I think but mate what? I’m not the bad guy here.

“My lesson in professionalism was `shut up about the pedophile’.”

Hughes faces a sentencing hearing before Justice Peter Zahra on May 2.