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Eamonn Holmes caught up in TV row over on air advice to rape victim

By Hamish Mackay

October 28, 2011 | 3 min read

TV presenter Eamonn Holmes has hit the headlines for telling a rape victim: "I hope you take taxis now."

The Daily Mail reports today: “Viewers of ITV's This Morning have reacted with outrage - claiming that Holmes appeared to blame the victim for making herself vulnerable.”

The middle-market tabloid said Holmes had made the controversial remarks during an interview with Hannah Cant, 20, who was raped by a stranger when she was 18.

She waived her right to anonymity to appear on This Morning to speak about her ordeal a month after her attacker was jailed for at least 11 years.

According to the Daily Mail: ”Holmes, 51, introduced the interview, saying: 'She was on her way home from a night out with her friends and walking home - didn't take a taxi.

“'It's that old thing, I always say. Why were you tempted to walk home?'

“Miss Cant explained she had been with a friend and had walked the last two streets alone to her home as she had done many times before.

“She said: 'I thought it would be OK.'

“Holmes said: 'But it wasn't.”

At the end of the interview, says the Daily Mail, after thanking her for appearing, Holmes said: "I hope you take taxis now. Everywhere you go, coming home at night."

He then turned and asked his wife and co-presenter Ruth Langsford: "How many times do I tell people who I know to take taxis?"

The paper reports: “Hundreds of outraged viewers took to social media websites to protest, accusing the presenter of 'victim blaming'.

“...a commentator wrote online: 'I can't believe that they would ruin a brave woman's (most likely) harrowing interview by making such a flippant, dismissive and stupid comment'."

Holmes apologised on air earlier this month after This Morning viewers complained at him branding celebrity guest Jonathan Wilkes 'retarded'.

A spokeswoman for ITV confirmed they had received 26 complaints from viewers about Eamonn Holmes' comments since they were broadcast on Tuesday morning.

She added: “His interview was carried out with the utmost care and compassion and his comments were intended to highlight safety advice.

“Hannah was happy with the interview and not in any way offended by Eamonn's advice.”

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