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Radio DJ sacked over Oz PM Julia Gillard 'gay partner' questions

Howard Sattler suggested to Gillard that her partner of seven years, Tim Mathieson, had to be homosexual because he was a hairdresser. The DJ was suspended and then sacked by Fairfax Radio, which apologised for the ‘disrespectful’ questioning. Sattler, a veteran commercial radio talkback host in Perth, told Gillard he wanted to clear up myths and innuendo about her and then said: “Tim’s gay. That’s not what I’m saying, that’s a myth.”

“Well that’s absurd,” Gillard responded. “Yeah, but you hear it, he must be gay, he’s a hairdresser,” Sattler said. Gillard, whose partner is a former hairdresser and is divorced with children, said it was “absurd” to assume that all male hairdressers were gay.

Sattler then persisted: “You can confirm that he’s not?” “Oh Howard, don’t be ridiculous, of course not,” Gillard said. “But you’re in a heterosexual relationship? That’s all I’m asking,” Sattler asked. Gillard responded: “Howard let me just bring you back to earth, you and I have just talked about me and Tim living at the lodge [the prime ministerial residence], we live there together as a couple, you know that.”

The radio station 6PR, owned by Fairfax Media, initially suspended Sattler but later sacked him for his “disrespectful” behaviour. The interview followed days after a sexist mock menu at an opposition fundraising dinner in which a dish labelled Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail was described as Small Breasts, Huge Thighs.

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