LBC presenter Natasha Devon apologises for denying Hamas rapes

The radio host wrongly insisted on air there was ‘no evidence’ of Hamas commiting sexual assaults


Natasha Devon admitted she was not in possession of the facts at the time and acknowledged it is 'indisputable' Hamas terrorists have committed rape (Photo: LBC)

An LBC radio presenter has apologised for incorrectly telling a caller that “there is absolutely no evidence that any sexual assaults took place” during Hamas’s massacre on October 7. 

Natasha Devon, who has hosted a Saturday phone-in show since 2020, has now admitted that she was not in possession of the facts at the time and acknowledged it is “indisputable” the rapes were carried out.

During her show last weekend, she told a listener who called iand brought up the rapes and mutiliations to which Hamas subjected its victims: “There are conflicting stories about that. So there are some academics who are saying that there is absolutely no evidence that any sexual assaults took place.” 

The listener, named Lucy, challenged Devon, asking: “Are you saying you don’t believe there were women that were raped on 7 October, even though it has been proven?”

Devon replied “I don’t know what to think”, to which the caller pressed further, asking if she believed the survivors who had provided testimony saying they were raped were “not telling the truth”. The show host, appearing to backtrack, said: “No, I don’t think that.”

Likening denials of the October 7 rapes to Holocaust denial, the listener said: “We know that it happened.”

Devon disputed that the two could be compared and ended the conversation saying: “That’s a very serious accusation that you have made there – semi-libellous, I would say, but I will let you off this once.”

Now Devon has issued a lengthy apology on X/Twitter, attributing her comments to “erroneous commentary” she had read about the rapes.

"Last week (Saturday 27 April) on my LBC show I made the point that it is sometimes difficult to establish precise facts when reporting or discussing the situation in Israel and Gaza,” she wrote.

“I made the point that there is dispute around whether, very tragically, some of the hostages taken on October 7 were raped when held by Hamas. I said this because I had read some commentary on this subject that I thought was credible, but it wasn't. That commentary was erroneous. I should not have repeated this commentary. I was in error in doing so, and I wholeheartedly apologise.”

She continued: “There is plenty of credible evidence some of the hostages taken on October 7 were subjected to horrific sexual violence. This includes verification from the United Nations Security Council and of course the testimony of the women themselves,” Devon wrote. “I want to state here unequivocally that I believe them and I don’t dispute their testimonies.”

The writer, presenter and mental health advocate, went on to say: “I hope you’ll appreciate the immense pressure we are all under as journalists and broadcasters every day not to put a foot wrong and misspeak, and sometimes, especially in a live broadcast environment where you have to think quickly, mistakes are made.”

She added: “Having had the times and space to properly research this now, it is indisputable that rape occured… What happened on October 7 can never be minimised. I still feel and fundamentally believe that any reasonable thinking person can acknowledge that, whilst also acknowledging the response in Gaza has gone too far and is a humanitarian crisis. Both things can be true simultaneously.”

Devon also extended an apology to the caller, Lucy, “who I was too quick to judge in the moment.”

On Wednesday, journalist Nicole Lampert (who writes for the JC) shared a statement from Lucy in which the caller and regular listener of Devon’s programme questioned the authenticity of Devon’s apology: “It is not very difficult to find evidence of the sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas on the 7/10 so I am shocked that a professional journalist would not be 100% solid on that fact.

“Why would Natasha do research AFTER a show rather than have facts and information before a show. Where has she been for the last seven months? If this was a genuine apology there was no need for Natasha to qualify it by reiterating her views on Israel’s response.

“It may be a good idea that if Natasha Devon is really sorry for her horrific misjudgement that she contacts the Israeli embassy and asks to see the footage that Hamas filmed on that fateful day,” Lucy’s statement said.

Devon said that she intends to repeat the apology during next week’s show on 4 May and added that she donated her fee for the show last Saturday to the Diaspora Alliance, an organisation that works to “combat antisemitism and foster harmony between minority communities”.

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