"Roast Buster" Joseph Parker has skipped town after threats and abuse were shouted at his family home.
The Herald on Sunday has spoken to his family through an intermediary, who defended Parker's actions despite video on Facebook showing him and his friend boasting about sex with young, drunk girls.
His family is adamant he did the right thing and fronted up to police on realising the sex had gone too far.
The turning point was an encounter with a 13-year-old girl, who alleged three boys had group sex with her. But when she protested, Parker had pulled another boy off her, saying they had gone too far.
The girl had told her family and laid a police complaint. The girl's older brother had gone to the Parker residence in West Auckland to confront him, but Parker was away.
On Parker's return home, a family friend says, Parker's stepfather had taken Parker to Henderson Police Station to make a formal statement about the encounter with the girl.
To complicate matters, broadcaster John Tamihere and Parker's stepfather have known each other for years. But the source claims Tamihere had not known the stepfather was related to Parker when he conducted his now infamous radio interview with 18-year-old "Amy", a friend of one of the Roast Buster victims.
In an opinion piece in the Herald on Sunday newspaper today, Justice Minister Judith Collins gave the Radio Live hosts Tamihere and Willie Jackson a dressing down and said New Zealand needed to live up to its hard-fought reputation as being a leader in women's rights.
"Along with that goes the right to not be abused," writes Collins.
Despite an on-air apology on Wednesday, Tamihere and Jackson continued discussions about the subject on Thursday's show, provoking studio guest Matthew Hooton to storm out of a live panel discussion.
Advertisers have pulled out and RadioWorks' two broadcasters have since been gagged.
Tamihere's stepson, Katene Durie-Doherty, is Facebook friends with several of the Roast Busters.
This week Durie-Doherty tweeted: "People need to chill on the whole roast buster tantrum people are just constently repeating the same opinions over and over again #laugh."
The Parker family friend, who has been giving them media advice, said Joseph Parker's mother and stepfather were trying to get their heads around their son's involvement in the Roast Buster group.
"From what I can tell they are just a normal couple who are just trying to get by and they are pretty overwhelmed by this whole situation," the friend said. "They don't know what to make of things right now and I have been trying to prepare them for what is ahead.
"They know this situation is not going to go away but they are pretty much in shock."