Ray Hadley is a vicious thug.
He is a bully.
I know it.
Former 2GB boss Rob Loewenthal knows it.
Anyone who's worked closely with Hadley knows it.
Alan Jones told me Hadley is a moron. I agree.
Hadley adds nothing to Australian public life.
He is a weather vane.
And Hadley has a shocking history of damaging people at work.
His IT producer Richard Palmer recorded one of Hadley's many abusive and threatening tirades - here. Hadley later settled a personal damages claim in favour of Mr Palmer.
Macquarie Radio Network executive chairman Russell Tate admitted in emails tendered to the court that Hadley is a "psychotic bully" - here.
Now the man who should have been Hadley's closest confidant, the man who produced Hadley's program for 15 years has spoken publicly about Hadley's behaviour.
That's Chris Bowen on your left.
He parted ways with 2GB in 2017 after 15 years producing for Hadley.
Bowen has suffered terribly because of what Hadley did to him.
Here is his account.
This is a tough status update to write. But in order for me to process life going forward I thought I’d let you all know.
Mostly for family, I can’t ring everyone and at the moment please don’t ring me. Others already know what I’m about to state or have seen what I’m about to say.
For a number of years I’ve suffered mental health problems. I won’t bore you with the resulting ill effects. But they’ve been very serious.
After seeking intensive treatment I’m getting much better, as you’d hope. What I’ve learnt about my condition from all the psychiatric advice I’ve been given points towards two things.
Trauma, the death of my parents, a real obvious one. Nothing could prevent this and I know we have all suffered losses. That’s just life, sadly.
But also 16 years of intense bullying by a work colleague at Radio 2GB. I can’t bring myself to name the person, because even with my new found clarity and insight I fear their unpredictability. This person is incredibly intelligent, a pure genius at getting out of a sticky spot. Plus is backed by much more coin then me!
But then again you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to work it out.
Working in the media, straight out of school was literally a dream come true. But gradually as time passed I was subjected to vile and inexcusable behaviour. I know many of you have witnessed what I’m talking about.
I also took part to an extent in this behaviour. When you’re dealing with someone you’ve put on a pedestal since the age of 8, someone who can pick up the phone and ring the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader or Police Commissioner on a whim, someone that an entire company relies on for a significant part of its profit - well you tend to just do what they say.
I’ll admit that I was well remunerated eventually and I got to do and see some amazing things. Attending Olympic Games for example.
But I was bullied. Not the kind of “harden up” or “tough leadership” style treatment but out of control sheer rage. It was directed at me at least weekly. Yet I was constantly told I was the best at my role by this person. A role that’s relatively rare in radio.
I’ve heard this person blame their behaviour on a culture that was around in the 80’s. Which is just a load of crap. There’s plenty of decent media people from that era.
At one point I think we went several months without talking to each other. This is a person that sat 5 metres away from me, 6 or 7 days a week in a soundproof studio. Thank god there was double glazed glass between us.
But it also meant a covert form of bullying could take place, far removed from a management that could barley contain this person themselves.
It’s been two years since I resigned from that role, after calling the person out for it. Obviously I was a slow learner.
I moved to another program, but a pattern of being marginalised, given the silent treatment and the removal of roles I’d been told I was excelling at started to occur. This person once hated a former employee so much he carried a copy of an old footy card featuring the ex league player in his wallet. Kind of like a voodoo doll, I dunno it was a tad weird. So an expert at holding a grudge.
Did I ever complain? Yes. As far back as 2008 I was removed from the show for a short period after sending an email about my concerns. But complaining was about as effective as setting yourself on fire.
Basically I was holding onto a dream, while one of the most powerful broadcasters had me firmly in their grasp. Why did I not leave earlier? I think coming from a simple upbringing with no university education I feared there was nowhere else to go.
So where to from here. Well, I’m felling much better. A stint in a clinic will do that! Much, much better in fact. It has taken me two years to reveal this, but my health issues go back well over a decade. Thank god I met my wife and have my beautiful son in my life.
I don’t expect this revelation will go down that well. I’m ready for some nasty blowback and the opening of a Pandora’s box.
There’s a good chance the shit will hit the fan to be frank. Working for a lunatic doesn’t make you a model citizen, that I will concede. I’m sure some dirt will be found on me.
But I don’t want sympathy, even attention. I mean who wants all of this out there!
But I want bullying to stop. The soul destroying type, the imbalance of power type the unchecked and unhinged type. Bullying doesn’t just occur in the schoolyard. It’s all around us. If I can stop this person from screaming and swearing like a maniac at just one more person, I’d consider that a win.
Thanks for listening.
I wish Chris all the best. He is a committed professional who didn't find sufficient support from 2GB's owners and managers. And he's doing the right thing in outing Hadley, if belatedly.
Want more proof of Hadley's atrocious behaviour?
Ask the man who "lost Hadley's support" in Athens.