Mcleod's Daughters: articles

McLeod's star tells of child sex abuse

AS HE prepares for a return to court over allegations he assaulted and threatened his former wife, McLeod's Daughters star Aaron Jeffery has again spoken of the sexual abuse he suffered as a child.

Jeffery, who plays farmer Alex Ryan in the Channel 9 drama, is known for a straightforward approach to questions about the troubles of his teenage years and how he slept on the streets after arriving in Australia 20 years ago, and he feels the community needs to be more open about its taboos.

"Sexual abuse is quite prevalent in society and I think it needs to be talked about," he said. "If someone out there gains some inspiration from me experiencing that, then achieving a level of fulfilment in life, I think that's great.

"The only reason I talk about what happened to me in the past is to give other people hope, even if it's in a small way. I'm getting a very positive response from people…"

Late last year, Jeffery told a teen magazine that falling prey to child sex abuse had caused him to run off the rails as a youth and suffer a mental breakdown in 1998. "I had some tough issues as an angry young kid. I was in with a very rough crowd," he told The Advertiser.

Today, the actor will be involved in proceedings at Elizabeth Magistrates Court. Last November, he faced the court after being charged with threatening and assaulting his former wife, Melinda, but the matter was not resolved.

It is understood today's proceedings relate to discussions between the actor's legal team and prosecutors.

According to court documents, the charges stem from an alleged incident last September at the couple's then home in Gawler. Jeffery, who has a daughter, Ella-Blu, 2, with his former wife, has been on a production break and on holidays.

Now romantically linked with co-star Michelle Langstone, he says the divorce of his own parents was troubling for him as a child and he wants a secure childhood for his daughter.

"The show is terrific, but I also feel lucky to have a job. Continuity of employment is hard in this business," he said.

"You are always aware of a need to keep yourself above water financially, particularly when you have a daughter whose future you are responsible for."

By Darren Devlyn
February 15, 2006
The Advertiser