Alan Jones ruled the Australian radio airwaves with an extraordinary level of power for more than three decades, yet managed to keep his personal life largely private.
Jones retired from hosting 2GB’s radio breakfast show in May 2020, but an explosive report this week by the Sydney Morning Herald has threatened to shatter the broadcaster’s legacy.
The report included allegations the talkback radio king used his position to ‘prey on a number of young men, indecently assault, grope, or inappropriately touching them without their consent’ during his high-profile career.
Jones’ lawyers Mark O’Brien Legal said in response to questions from the SMH: ‘Our client denies ever having indecently assaulted the persons referred to in your letter, and your suggestion that he has is scandalous, grossly offensive and seriously defamatory of him’.
The law firm later added it had already issued a concerns notice as a first step to defamation proceedings.
‘In the short time available since publication we have obtained substantial factual information which contradicts and refutes the alleged pattern of conduct by Mr Jones.’
Daily Mail Australia explores the remarkable career of the 82-year-old as well as what is known about the broadcaster’s private life.
Broadcaster Alan Jones has been accused of indecent assault by five men in an explosive newspaper report – claims which he denies (pictured relaxing after his retirement from 2GB)
Is Alan Jones gay?
Alan Jones has never spoken about his sexual orientation and has never come out as gay.
In 2015 when a caller to his radio show directly asked him: ‘Alan, are you a homosexual’ he deflected answering the question by changing the subject.
That same year, when Australia was debating whether to allow same-sex marriage, Jones took a stance in favour of the proposal.
On his 2GB radio show he delivered what was initially a rant against then-Labor leader Bill Shorten, calling him ‘bereft of ideas’, but his speech morphed into an impassioned plea supporting Labor’s intention to legalise same-sex marriage.
‘I’ve said it before, I don’t understand the complexity of it … we’re not telling anyone what to believe,’
‘It is 2015. On this issue we must respect the view of others.
‘In a very difficult world, which is often impersonal, uncaring, ruthless and sometimes brutal in personal relationships, love can prove elusive.’
‘And my view is that when people find love they should be able to celebrate it. And they shouldn’t be discriminated against according to the nature of that love,’ he said.
‘To deny people the recognition for a relationship which is based on love is to deny in my opinion one of humankind’s most basic, but as I said elusive, qualities.’
How did Alan Jones get into radio?
Jones was raised on a dairy farm in Oakey, Queensland and worked as the English and French master at Brisbane Grammar School after he finished his own education, including a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland.
While working at Brisbane Grammar he was also a tennis, athletics and rugby coach.
By 26, he was the Senior English Master at The King’s School in Parramatta where he coached the first XV rugby team but resigned in 1975 after a meeting with the school principal.
He then moved to Canberra where he tried his hand at politics later that year with a failed preselection bid for federal parliament in the marginal seat of Eden-Monaro.
Jones then went on to manage a small NSW country airline in his 30s.
In 1976-77 he travelled to England where he obtained a teaching diploma from Oxford. While there he also won a University Blue for tennis.
He then moved to Sydney and returned to politics.
He was pre-selected for the Liberal Party to run for the inner-Sydney seat of Earlwood during a byelection in 1978, but he failed. He also missed out the following year at a State election.
In 1979 he became a speech writer for then Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, before working for the NSW Employer’s Federation and then moving into his radio career.
During his early years in radio he also coached Rugby Union, leading the Australian side to a legendary drought-breaking 1986 Bledisloe Cup win against New Zealand.
In 1986 he was also nominated for the Federal seat of Wentworth in Sydney but was a late withdrawal from the ballot.
By the mid 1990s, Jones had the largest radio audience in Sydney and possibly the country, when including regional and interstate transmissions.
Jones ruled the airwaves for decades during his career at 2GB after working at schools and enjoying a celebrated Rugby Union coaching stint
Is Alan Jones married? Does Alan Jones have a partner?
Jones has never married, staying a bachelor throughout his adult life.
He has also rarely even talked about his dating life or relationships and, despite attending high-profile social events, has never been pictured with dates.
The broadcaster does not have any known children.
Does Alan Jones have children
Alan Jones does not have any children of his own; however, he holds a deep affection for his niece, Tonia Taylor. Tonia is the daughter of Alan’s only sister, Colleen Bayley.
Not only does Tonia work alongside Alan, but she also lives with him. In 1999, when Tonia got married and became a mother, Alan demonstrated his generosity by constructing a house for her on his Fitzroy Falls property.
Alan Jones does not have any children of his own; however, he holds a deep affection for his niece, Tonia Taylor (pictured left)
Jones was a champion tennis player in his 30s while studying at Oxford University (pictured in 2020)
What have other people said about the allegations against Jones?
Former Prime Minister John Howard said: ‘Alan Jones is a good friend of mine. I have no knowledge of the matters canvassed in the Sydney Morning Herald.’
Other former Prime Ministers Tony Abbot and Scott Morrison declined to comment when approached by The Daily Telegraph, as did other friends tennis ace Mark Philippoussis, celebrity accountant Anthony Bell and stud owner John Messara.
Family friend and protégé of Jones, Jake Thrupp, has also declined to comment on the allegations.
Thrupp worked as Jones’ personal assistant after moving to Sydney from Tweed Heads, where his mother managed some of Jones’ Queensland properties.
Alan Jones tutors his staffer Jake Thrupp at tennis in June 2020 a week after he resigned from his radio show the ruled the airwaves of Sydney and Brisbane
The young man was one of many staff in Jones’ ‘in house family’ who the broadcaster paid tribute to on his final 2GB program
An amateur surfer and politics ‘nut’, Thrupp has since co-founded Australia Digital Holdings which aired Jones’ post-2GB talkshow.
Thrupp previously told the Sydney Morning Herald he was upset that gossip columns in Sydney had suggested his relationship to Jones was something more.
‘It was something that was obviously completely untrue. I think it’s amazing how in Australia people struggle to understand that, yes, people have patrons. It’s actually a very common thing.’
‘It’s obviously upsetting that people put their minds in the gutter … I struggled with that because I had family members reading this stuff… They knew he had taken me under his wing and they were grateful… yet here was this reporting where it was like ‘oh, there must be something going on’.
‘I’ve moved on. You can’t not be thick-skinned in this industry and city.’
Former Australian Test cricketer Brett Lee said he had reached out privately to Jones.
‘What I can say is I’ve known Alan Jones for close to 30 years as my mentor, as someone I can … he’s been through the ups and downs of my professional career. A very close family friend,’ Lee said.
‘In those 30 years the unwavering support he’s given me, the way he’s so loyal, he’s just an absolute true gentleman, and that’s all I can say. He’s been fantastic to me. He’s helped so many people that not anyone even knows about.’
The broadcaster welcomed his retirement with the likes of cricketers Brett Lee and Shane Watson, posting that they were ‘celebrating good times! #offthelongrun’
Sky News host Peta Credlin said Jones was a ‘good friend’ while legendary broadcaster John Laws said he was ‘surprised’ by the allegations.
Former 2GB colleague and one of the only other broadcasters to rival Jones’ influence, Ray Hadley, claimed his relationship to Jones was ‘severed’ after one of the men making allegations against him detailed them to Hadley privately years earlier.
‘I regard this man not as an attention-seeker or someone who seeks notoriety, but rather directly the opposite,’ Hadley said.
‘The behaviour he was alleging was unwanted sexual advances from a person in power, that person being his boss, Alan Jones.’
The man’s allegations include that he was repeatedly groped on the penis by Jones while driving him back to his Circular Quay residence as a junior employee and that he was cornered and kissed while in an elevator with him.
The broadcaster has never been one to shy away from controversial opinions, though has said he dislikes the term ‘shock jock’.
He once said former New Zealand Prime Miniter Jacinda Ardern should have a sock shoved down her throat.
He said on air: ‘I just wonder whether Scott Morrison’s going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat.’
He also said ‘now I hope Scott Morrison gets tough here with a few backhanders’ and ‘I hope he goes for the throat this morning’.
He was later found to have breached broadcasting decency rules by Australia’s media watchdog.
He was also scolded by the watchdog for making false statement about climate change.
‘The factual error and inconsistent information were used to incorrectly portray that Australia generates more of its energy from renewables than New Zealand,’ the Australian Communications and Media Authority said.
Back in 2012, Jones lost many of his show’s advertisers after he was secretly recorded at a Sydney University Liberal Club dinner saying former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father ‘died of shame’ because she ‘lies whenever she stands for parliament’.
He has also been called out for using racial slurs on his show and he once appeared in blackface at a Rugby event in the 1980s.
On then-Finance Minister Mattias Cormann’s loyalty during the 2018 Liberal leadership challenge he said:
‘The n****r in the woodpile here, if one can use that expression – and I’m not going to yield to people who tell us that certain words in the language are forbidden – the person who’s playing hard to get is Mathias Cormann.’
He used the same expression on multiple occasions to describe the Commonwealth in 2007, Australia’s national cricket selector Greg Chappell in 2011, Malcolm Turnbull in 2012, and Queensland’s then-deputy premier Jeff Seeney in 2013.
He also defamed Aboriginal leader Pat Dodson by saying he ‘exploited his aboriginality’ and ‘had his snout in the public trough’.