The prominent comedian facing a child sex charge denies the allegation and will fight to clear his name, says a close friend.

The defendant, who has name suppression, was bailed to the friend's home after appearing before Auckland District Court on Tuesday.

He is charged with unlawful sexual connection with a child under 12, understood to be his daughter.

The friend said he was drawn into the situation when the comedian arrived at his house at 4.30am on December 10, soon after the alleged offending.

The defendant "had been out and had a few drinks in him", said the friend, who met the comedian through work and mutual associates.

The comedian had returned to the house he shared with his partner and went into their bedroom, without realising his daughter was sleeping with her mum.

"The next thing he knows is when he wakes up and [his partner] is yelling, 'What the hell are you doing?'

"He got the shock of his life and went 'oh God'. [His partner] kicked him out of the bedroom and the house and then called the cops."

The friend said the comedian was "devastated", and particularly upset his partner didn't give him the chance to explain himself before calling police.

The friend said the couple's relationship was "going through a rocky patch".

Other associates were standing by the comedian. One he worked closely with was "absolutely shattered" by the allegations.

"All his mates have rallied around," said the friend.

"They totally have faith in him and they know he is innocent so they want to clear his name. But the problem is his professional life - you can only imagine what he is going through."

The friend said the comedian's mental state was poor after his arrest but was slowly improving.

"The good thing is he is getting determined that he has to clear his name and so I think he is better now, but I have never seen anyone that low before - it is an absolutely terrible thing."

The defendant's family were aware of the allegation and were showing their support, but he was "gutted" he couldn't see his daughters.

The comedian's partner refused to comment in detail yesterday. "I don't want to talk, there are children involved," she said. "Please respect our privacy as if it was one of your own children involved here."

The comedian is represented by top barrister Marie Dyhrberg, who refused to comment.

"I have been around the media a very long time so I am saying absolutely nothing at all about anything," she said.

TV bosses who worked with the comedian also refused to comment.

Comic and TV personality Te Radar said he knew the defendant and there had been a lot of talk in comedy circles about who it might be.

He did not object to name suppression because it was in place to protect the alleged victim.

"At this stage it is an allegation and a very serious allegation and not all allegations are proven to be right.

"Of all the allegations I think this is probably the worst one there is," he said. "Even if you are found innocent of that you're going to be stigmatised for the rest of your life."

The comedian has been ordered to stay away from his daughter, partner and a third female.

He is not allowed direct contact with any children under 16 unless under the supervision of an adult who is not a witness in the case.

He was ordered to surrender his passport and reappear in court in January.

- HERALD ON SUNDAY