The Ash/John incident: a complete rundown
2 July 2006
On Saturday afternoon Ashley and John were ejected from the Big Brother house for breaking house rules. Here is a rundown of exactly what happened.
At approximately 4.30am Saturday morning Camilla went to John and Ashley’s bed. While there John held down Camilla while Ashley knelt over her, apparently slapping her in the face with his penis. At one stage John was holding Camilla down by her head. The incident went to air over the internet streams and several users recorded screen captures which are now circulating the internet. At the time Camilla was quoted as saying “thats not cool”.
Later that afternoon Ashley and John were called to the diary room and remained there for several hours. During this time the other housemates were led outside for the planned Rogue Traders concert, which was set up by the spa deck. While the concert took place Ashley and John were removed from the house by security guards via the diary room. Housemates were only informed the two had been ejected and would not be returning later in the evening.
Late Saturday afternoon/early evening the official Big Brother website posted a notice that Ashley and John had been removed for “a breach of the rules”. No details were provided in the notice, other than the producers would not be commenting further on what they described a “serious matter”. Early media reports stated the two had been removed from the house but did not give any details.
Shortly after forum users on the official website posted details of the Saturday morning incident, and the posts were promptly removed. Both the official website and Behindbigbrother.com saw a substantial increase in web traffic – so much so that BBBA was unavailable for many users. Moderators on the official website put up a notice warning that talk of the incidents surrounding Ashley and John’s departure was not allowed. This did not stop forum users who continued to discuss what happened. At 9.30pm the official forums were shut down completely to stop the discussion. In 2003 the official forums were shut down after the “Belindagate” incident and did not return until 2005.
BBBA posted an initial story on the sexual assault incident Saturday evening, and this has been carried through onto early Sunday newspaper articles.
At the time of posting this article, it is not known what will happen on Sunday night’s eviction, or how the incident will be explained to audiences. It is possible producers will introduce two new housemates to replace Ashley and John in the future.
The future of the show
The incident has put the future of Big Brother Australia into question. Rumours were already floating on Saturday night that Channel 10 are planning to axe Big Brother completely, and that tonight’s eviction will not take place.
MP Trish Draper has already used the incident to again attack the show, calling for it to be taken off air immediately – even though the incident was not actually broadcast on television. She has commented to News Ltd. newspapers the show has “gone too far”.
Despite this, Minister for Communications Helen Coonan has said the government will not be taking any action against producers or Channel 10. The Queensland Police have also said they are taking no action at this time.
The heavy handed response from Big Brother comes after the political pressure which arose from a similar incident last year where housemate Michael rubbed himself on Gianna while giving her a massage.