Hughes is awaiting extradition procedures which are likely to being next month.
Robert Hughes has been hiding out in an upmarket square in central London, where apartments go for upwards of $2 million.
However when you speak to the suburb’s locals it appears no one knows anything about him.More stories from Today Tonight
Hughes has faced allegations for over two years, and now he is in the net of the New South Wales Sex Crimes Squad, on the other side of the world, arrested and charged
As his lawyer argued for bail the grey haired unshaven man sitting in a London court room with slumped shoulders seemed worlds apart from TV's most loved and whacky dad Martin Kelly.
Even today cast members are coming out in support of Hughes arrest. Paul Smith has never spoken until now, saying “I was surprised by the initial allegations to start with, but I think it’s been going on far enough now that there's been more and more allegations - I really wasn’t that surprised.”Today Tonight's latest celebrity stories
“I can’t see us having a happy reunion anytime soon,” Smith said.
“There were a few rumours at the tail end of when I was leaving the show, but nothing directly indicating anything towards Robert. But then you think back to some of the conversations you had - with Simone - the girls saying ‘it’s not smart for Sarah to share a dressing room with Robert.’ Being innocent and not having thoughts to that regard, I didn’t give them any credence.”
Smith played Simon Kelly, the son of Hughes's character.More stories from reporter Laura Sparkes
“The thought never crossed my mind till the initial news story broke. And then even the cast were saying ‘who's this?’ The industry's like a bus ride. You’re on the bus together like a family. Then you get off the bus and you don’t see everybody again - then something like this comes up and you realise you’ve got no one's number - it was a real surprise. A real shock.”
Today a London court heard there are allegedly five child victims, one as young as six or seven, and another just nine. There are eleven offences in total, and they range from sexual assault to indecent assault.
Apart from a Hey Dad cast member the rest of the alleged victims are either friends of his actual daughter or daughters of family friends.Yahoo!7 News: Hughes extradition could take a year
Former casting agent Liz Mullinar is relieved her former friend has finally been charged.“You can't tell they are perpetrators. They are charming lovely, beautiful human beings. That’s how they get away with it,” Mullinar said.
“It’s an absolute delight. An absolute pleasure that he’s been brought to answer the charges that people have been making. And I’m thrilled at the way police have kept onto it. It’s a very exciting day for survivors of child abuse.”
After hearing too many stories Mullinar blew the whistle on Hughes decades ago, trying to explain to his wife - top acting agent Robin Gardiner - that there was a dark side to her husband.“Her reaction, like any wife when there are allegations against her husband, was one of shock, horror and total disbelief,” Mullinar said.
“All families stick with families, and that’s just the way it is.”
Mullinar has since quit show business and now runs Heal For Life, a residential centre for victims of sexual abuse.
“For the first time our voices are being heard, and it does serve as warning to people that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are or what you do,” Mullinar said.
Nothing surprises Hughes's niece Melinda O’Donnell. Last year she spoke out for the first time exclusively telling Today Tonight about her experiences at the hands of her uncle from the tender age of eight.New South Wales police though have chosen not to proceed with her complaints.
The allegations against Hughes became public two years ago when a former child cast member from Hey Dad, Sara Monahan, spoke out.
“I think a lot of people think I’m making a bigger deal than it was - but I was little,” she said.
Hughes will be back in court in London in six weeks’ time for the extradition hearing. For his alleged victims it will be nerve wracking.
“The police have done their jobs brilliantly. And now it’s up to the legal system. But the fact we’ve got to this moment is a victory,” Mullinar concluded.Contact details
- Heal for Life - www.healforlife.com.au
This reporter is on Twitter at @LauraSparkes7
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