Fifi Box: 'I was sexually assaulted by male celebrity'
RADIO personality Fifi Box has gone public with a shocking case of sexual assault perpetrated by a "high profile" male celebrity during an interview more than a decade ago.
Speaking about Taylor Swift and DJ David Mueller's duelling lawsuits over an alleged groping incident, Box revealed she'd suffered such an incident herself - one she wishes she'd handled differently.
"I can say that I've found myself, as a young woman particularly working in the media, in situations where I've found myself uncomfortable. You could argue I've been sexually assaulted, and yet laughed or giggled my way through I because I've been scared or intimidated by the situation," she revealed on Fox FM this morning.
"There was one particular guest who came into the studio. I was 24-25 at the time and he would've been in his 50s. VERY high profile," said Box, now 40.
"He sat in the studio and during the interview, he was touching me - reaching over and grabbing and stroking my leg - then grabbed my head and forced it down into his crotch. Actually rubbed my head in his crotch."
One of Box's current Fox FM co-hosts, Byron Cooke, also witnessed the incident, and later refused to air the prerecorded interview with the unnamed male celeb.
"It felt like 1981 with this dude ... not that it was ever right. But it sounded wrong, looked wrong, and it was wrong," said Cooke.
Box said she remembered going into a state of shock as the incident unfolded.
"A part of you is shocked. Is this guy actually doing this to me? You're trying to be polite. Our boss came into the studio and I thought, 'Oh thank god, he's here to save me'. [But] Our boss wanted a photo with that person. In that moment I'm thinking, maybe what happened to me is fine?
"It's when you walk away you think, I'm not happy with that."
Cooke said that with another decade-and-a-half of media experience under their belt, he and Box would not tolerate the same kind of behaviour today.
"Knowing what we know now, we would not have accepted that and we would've been a hell of a lot more vocal than we were. We were both kids in that situation. In the moment, it was awkwardly laughed off because we thought, I don't know, maybe that's what happens," he said.
"It wasn't right."