TV3 reporter Kim Vinnell was groped, claims boyfriend

Kim Vinnell and her boyfriend Richie Hardcore, who has spoken out after her live TV cross during the Laneway music festival was interrupted. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Kim Vinnell and her boyfriend Richie Hardcore, who has spoken out after her live TV cross during the Laneway music festival was interrupted. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

The boyfriend of a TV3 reporter who was interrupted during a live TV cross claims she was groped during the incident.

Kim Vinnell was reporting from Auckland music festival Laneway for TV3's current affairs show Story when she was interrupted by a pair of music fans.

One used an expletive-laden phrase, abbreviated to "FHRITP", that took off on social media last year and the segment was cut short.

Vinnell later tracked the pair down, only for them to say: "Next time have a male presenter because s*** like that gets pretty hectic."

In a lengthy blog post, Vinnell's boyfriend Richie Hardcore used the incident to slam the "two boys who thought it would be cool to grope her, get in her space and yell (a) sexually aggressive phrase.

"Why should women and girls learn to laugh it off? Why is that an even a thing, that it's ok to make someone feel s***** and females should just deal with it? Why aren't boys and men learning not to sexually harass and intimidate women and girls?

"Men, bros, bruhs, dudes, we need to look at our behaviour. We need to stop laughing at humiliating women. At treating their bodies like public property that you can grab when you feel like it. We need to call other guys out, challenge them on the language they use, the porno they watch and what it's teaching them, the jokes they laugh at," he wrote.

"It's up to us to question others, because next time it might not be 'just a joke' and it might not be my girlfriend, it might be yours. Or your daughter. Your sister. Your friend. Will it be so funny then?"

Hardcore challenged the pair to spar with him in his Muay Thai boxing gym.

In his interview with Vinnell, one of the teens apologised for the incident - sort of.

He said: "We all thought it was a friendly joke. We didn't mean any abuse at all. After a 12-box of mavericks those sort of things aren't being processed properly through my head."

Vinnell has posted a video responding to the incident:

Following last night's live cross incident, Kim Vinnell has this response...

Posted by Story on Monday, February 1, 2016

She spoke out in a video posted to Facebook on Tuesday to share her true feelings, after the incident gained a lot of "traction" online.

"I think it's important to point out that anyone should be able to go to their place of work and not be accosted, it's kind of a right I think," she says.

"I know this phrase that this guy used has been popular on the internet, but it still doesn't make it OK, I think it's important not to over dramatise this but also not to condone that sort of behaviour."

The freelance journalist was interviewing Laneway performer Lontalius when the punter jumped in front of her - not once but twice.

Vinnell quickly took to Twitter calling the experience, "terrifying" - she later corrected the phrasing in her video response.

"I wasn't really terrified although I used that word in a post, it was more I guess unsettling and unexpected."

Blogger Russell Brown also took aim the the two men, saying he was "angry" the incident had happened.

"It's not good enough for women to feel at risk because of their age or gender. I understand that's a fact not just at annual music festivals. But there's a nasty undertone of exclusion when it happens in this kind of environment - which can only function on trust. When women who love the music these events are supposed to be about can't trust that they can safely enjoy it."

There was overwhelming support for the reporter on Twitter.




- nzherald.co.nz

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