A controversial Australian radio host has been forced to apologise to Kieran Foran after the Kiwi league star launched legal action against her.
Popular Sydney radio host Jackie Henderson, better known as 'Jackie O', admitted she is regretting remarks about Foran last week.
Henderson was forced to make an on-air apology over defamatory comments about the Paramatta Eels skipper who has found himself in the spotlight recently after suffering a personal breakdown following a hard-taken split with former partner Rebecca Pope, mother to the pair's children Emerson, 2, and newborn Jordan.
Splashed on the front of Australian newspapers and leading radio bulletins, Foran was also a major topic of discussion on Sydney radio station KIIS 1065's flagship program, the Kyle and Jackie O Show.
On the program, Henderson questioned whether Foran's newborn son was actually his.
Lawyers representing the league star alleged the comments were defamatory, and last night launched legal action against the radio star and network.
A legal letter sent to the Australian Radio Network (ARN) said suggestions Foran's child was not his "gave imputation the former partner of (Foran) committed adultery during their relationship", according to Australia's Nine News.
"That imputation is defamatory, completely false, untrue, and lacking any merit," the letter continued.
"We are instructed to request that you submit a clear apology and retraction to Mr Kieran Foran and Ms Rebecca Pope."
Opening the program this morning, which she co-hosts alongside veteran Kyle Sandilands, Henderson said she wanted to address the comments which were "really stupid".
"I gave voice to a really ugly rumour, and I just wanted to apologise because it was stupid to say what I said and it was really insensitive," she said.
"I don't want to repeat this ugly rumour because that's what it is, but I just want to take this time to personally apologise to Rebecca and Kieran for what I said. I can imagine how hurtful that would've been and I feel really terrible, I really do, and I'm truly sorry."
In a statement sent to news.com.au last night, a spokeswoman for ARN denied the station had received a legal letter from the network as of 9pm Thursday, but was apologetic.
"Jackie and the KIIS team are mortified that anything said has caused hurt to Kieran Foran and his family at such a difficult time," she said.
"We apologise unreservedly for this and wish them all the best."
Speaking on air Friday morning, Jackie O appeared to be in damage control, saying making hurtful comments was "not what I'm about".
"Despite what some people might think it's not what I'm about on radio," she said.
"I have tried very hard in my career not to be hurtful, and that's why I'm very sorry for any harm that I've caused."
The radio host said she hoped Foran and Ms Pope would accept her apology, and indicated it would be replayed later in the program to a larger audience.
Co-host Kyle Sandilands claimed he had "no idea" what the apologetic speech was all about.
"But it sounds quite legally involved," he added.
"It looks like you're in the s***, and better you than me." - news.com.au