Queen of pop and long-time Australian actor Debra Byrne has taken to social media to appeal for witnesses who may have seen an alleged sexual assault during the filming of a Young Talent Time clip.
On Friday night, Byrne, 57, one of the original six Young Talent Time cast members, wrote a post on the Facebook page of Channel 0-10 detailing sexual abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of two men while participating in the popular Australian program. In the post, she accused two men - who cannot be named for legal reasons - of abusing her while she was a young girl.
Byrne said the first man who sexually abused her was convicted for "carnal knowledge" and given a 12-month good behaviour bond.
She said the experience left her "a very disturbed girl", and paved the way for a second alleged sexual attack during the filming of Caravan Holiday in 1971 as part of the show.
In the post, Byrne wrote that after "that horrid experience" a Young Talent Time crew member "digitally raped" her in a swimming pool while filming a segment for the show.
"I don't recall where the pool was, but while I was in the pool [the alleged attacker] swam up to me and digitally raped me," she wrote.
"I was a very disturbed girl and was abused, I believe, because I was considered fair game."
Byrne also appealed to anyone who could remember being in the studio during the filming of the Red Tulip Chocolates commercial, where Byrne and former Young Talent Time host Johnny Young were the stars.
"There were more than two people in the studio," she said. "If this jogs anyone’s memory and you are comfortable to speak with me about what took place in the studio please contact me Blessings Debra Byrne X."
Fans and former colleagues have replied to the message, telling the star they hope she finds the "justice you deserve".
"I just want you to know that I remember a lovely Deb, and I truly hope you find the justice you deserve. Surely someone will come forward with the information you need," one person wrote.
In Byrne’s 2006 autobiography Not Quite Ripe, the troubled pop star revealed she had been sexually abused by her maternal grandfather since age two.
During her time on Young Talent Time, she also had an ongoing sexual relationship with a 24-year-old boom operator, who was later charged with statutory rape.
During an interview with gay magazine SX in 2011, Byrne said no one on the show attempted to help or comfort her during those troubled years.
"No one wanted to talk to me about it or even give me a hug. No one thought I should be counselled. What I received was the opposite – I was yelled at by Johnny Young for forgetting my words."
The mother of three and grandmother of two has had a long and fruitful career on stage, acting in many hit musicals such as Cats, Les Miserables and Sunset Boulevard alongside Hugh Jackman. She has also recorded songs, including He’s a Rebel, and appeared in iconic Australian television shows such as The Secret Life of Us and Home and Away.