When Hey Dad! actor Robert Hughes first learnt of concerns surrounding a seven-year-old girl staying at his home, his partner says he was “shocked”.
Robyn Gardiner gave evidence at the trial of her long-term partner on Tuesday and echoed much of what the 65-year-old said earlier this week.
No, she told Sydney’s District Court, Hughes did not walk around or swim naked in a neighbour’s pool and he didn’t go to dinner sporting a sarong.
Ms Gardiner backed Hughes’ evidence regarding specific claims around a number of allegations.
Hughes has pleaded not guilty to 11 sexual and indecent assault charges stemming from allegations he abused five girls in the 1980s and 90s.
One of the alleged victims has previously told the court that she stopped staying at the Hughes home in 1986 after telling her parents that she didn’t like the “games” the actor played with her.
The mother of the then seven-year-old girl says she ran into Ms Gardiner shortly after hearing the allegations.
When questioned why her daughter wasn’t coming to stay anymore, the mother alleges she told Ms Gardiner: “Ask your husband”.
But on Tuesday, Ms Gardiner said: “I’m under oath, she did not say those words to me”.
She also denied saying: “We’ll have to get him (Hughes) help”.
Instead, Ms Gardiner alleges the mother had ignored her, closed a door in her face and said nothing.
Confused as to why the woman was upset, Ms Gardiner said she went to another neighbour to “get to the bottom of it”.
This neighbour allegedly told her the seven-year-old had drawn a penis after being at the Hughes home.
“Your version is a little girl had drawn a penis … and that did not concern you at all?” Crown prosecutor Gina O’Rourke asked.
“It concerned me greatly,” Ms Gardiner replied.
“But you weren’t concerned about the seven-year-old girl?”
“I was concerned about the situation,” Ms Gardiner replied.
She said Hughes had been as “shocked as she was” that there was some concern.
Hughes and Ms Gardiner made one unsuccessful attempt to talk to the seven-year-old’s parents.
After police spoke to Hughes regarding the allegations, Ms Gardiner said she did not seek any information from officers.
The parents of the seven-year-old have told the court that they took their story to police but decided not to pursue charges because they didn’t want to put their child through a trial.
The trial continues.