My Friend Needs Validation and Support – Here It Is.
Many people would be aware of the painful YTT memories my Young Talent Time sister, Debra Byrne has been sharing on Facebook – and social media in general. Not Quite Ripe – the tell all book she released some years ago, detailed many of the alleged events and experiences that continue to traumatize and emotionally torture Deb to this day.
I say alleged only because it’s the responsible thing to do from a legal standpoint, given many of the events she recalls are yet to be validated or proven. The validation my friend so desperately seeks can only be supplied by people who were members of our iconic television shows inner sanctum, during Deb’s tenure with the show.
In a very revealing recent phone call, she told me that many people were aware of what was being done to her at the time, but chose to turn a blind eye. She said that not ‘getting involved’ was the done thing back then – prior to more extensive child protection laws being introduced into Australia.
Why am I bringing this up you’re probably wondering?
The reason I’m writing this short article today is to lend what little support I can to my amazing friend. I was with the show for only 10 months – before being taken overseas on a whirlwind tour of the USA and Canada. As a result, I don’t have as many memories to draw upon or share as other team members do – but I do at least have some.
People link me to the show in such a powerful way which has always made me feel very proud – YTT fans are the best. Sadly though, a handful of our supporters only want to hear good stories and nothing negative about the YTT experience. They see YTT as a kind of television Utopia, and don’t want the illusion to be shattered.
Deb and I completely understand why some fans feel the way they do, but sadly, life isn’t like that. Deb’s story is more a reflection of true life than fantasy.
Here’s My Two Bob’s Worth
Deb contends that John Young was a bully.
Did he bully me? No. But ask fellow team member, Trevor Hindmarch or my brother Derek, and you’ll hear a very different story. In fact, Trevor has been quite vocal about it on Facebook himself – talk to him and you’ll probably understand why.
Derek is more like me, and even though the stories he’s told me leave me in disbelief, he prefers to look upon the trauma he suffered as something he’d rather forget.
Deb says that the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of older men connected to the YTT machine wouldn’t have happened if she’d been suitably protected by YTT production staff.
Can I add some weight to her assertion? Yes, regrettably I can. I told Deb on the phone the other night that I remember feeling very confused as to why certain older guys were allowed access to her with virtually no supervision. I remember thinking to myself “it must be ok, or the adults would step in”.
Deb asked if I’d had any bad experiences with JY myself.
The answer once again is yes – but as I mentioned earlier, I’m not someone to let anything get me down forever. I forgive and forget. Well, let’s say I forgive. That being said, if what Deb alleges is true and had been done to me – my attitude would be very different. I may be a Christian, as Deb is, but I’m all too human as well.
In finishing, I will go on record with this. After some long telephone conversations with my dear friend, the super talented, Debra Byrne – I think she’s far from crazy and tend to believe what she is saying – EVERY WORD.
That’s all, I’ll say no more on the matter. God bless you Debra Anne Byrne.