Sarah Monahan is talking.
After decades and decades of staying quiet, she is finally free to say what she wants.
And what she wants to say is: Protect your children. Protect them from an adult world where they don’t belong. Protect them from predators.
Who was protecting Sarah when she played pig-tailed Jenny Kelly on Channel Seven’s hit sitcom Hey Dad! in the 80s and 90s?
That’s a matter of opinion.
Australia watched her grow-up, we watched her change from a little girl into a teenager until the show finished in 1993. But there was a lot we didn’t see.
We didn’t see that behind the scenes, there was an abuser hiding in plain sight.
A man who has now been convicted of 10 charges relating to sexual and indecent acts perpetrated on four young girls in the 1980s and 1990s.
That man, as Australia now knows, is Robert Hughes who played Sarah’s father on the hit Australian sitcom Hey Dad!. And Sarah, who was repeatedly told by adults she trusted to “simmer down”, to “stay quiet”, is not going to stop talking about him.
She’s talking about him in her newly-released memoir, Allegedly, and she’s talking about him to Mia Freedman on this latest episode of No Filter:
You can listen to her talking about the perception she had made up her story for money, here:
Robert Hughes appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeal in NSW, and his appeal was dismissed. He has now petitioned the High Court to overturn his conviction.
But Sarah has already lost too much by speaking out to ever be silenced again.
Like her relationship with her mother:
“(My mum) disowned me when I went public,” Sarah told Mia.
“I let it go. I push it back on her because she didn’t talk to her own mother for 15 years, so she had an issue, not me, so I just let her have her own issues.”
It’s a relationship that has tainted the way Sarah sees parenting, and the reason why, despite being happily married to Matt Morris for years, she has no desire to become a mother.
“I’ve had [my husband] fixed now,” she says. “He had a double snip. Because I wasn’t close to my mother and my mother wasn’t close to her mother, you don’t really need to repeat that again.