Taking to Twitter, Meagher– who’s long fought the scourge of violence against women, since his wife’s sickening murder in 2012 — slammed the government’s decision to allow Sheen into Australia for a well-publicised media tour.
Appealing to the Immigration Minister David Coleman directly, Meagher wrote: “Can I ask why you think it’s appropriate to grant a visa to this violent criminal at a time when men are murdering women at epidemic rates and thousands more are terrorised everyday by men like him?”
.@DavidColemanMP, can I ask why you think it’s appropriate to grant a visa to this violent criminal at a time when men are murdering women in Australia at epidemic rates and thousands more are terrorised everyday by men like him? https://t.co/YBfcb5L07b
— Tom Meagher (@meagtom) October 31, 2018
Responding to another Tweet issued by lobby group Collective Shout he went further, saying that by welcoming “a serial violent offender like Sheen to an arena where he is applauded, celebrated and speaks unchallenged”, the country was failing to take the “epidemic of male violence against women seriously.”
— Collective Shout (@CollectiveShout) October 31, 2018
It’s hard to disagree.
For 20 years, Charlie Sheen has allegedly harassed, assaulted, threatened and in once case, shot a woman.
In 2010, he assaulted then-wife Brooke Mueller in their home, brandishing a knife and threatening to kill her. He was also accused of “domestic violence, physical assaults, and death threats,” by his ex-fiancée Scottine Ross, and in 2013, his former wife Denise Richards who shares two children with the actor accused him of texting their daughter with the message: ‘I’m going to kill you and I’m going to kill your mom.’
He also has a long history of dismissing and trivialising these claims, despite pleading guilty to two charges.
In a country where one woman a week on average is murdered by her partner, it’s pretty sickening to know Charlie Sheen is on the loose, charging up to $1500 a ticket to hear him speak.
It’s also at odds with the government’s previously held position.
Two years ago, the then Turnbull Government took a brave, well-publicised stance against celebrities formerly charged with domestic violence or any kind of assault against women.
R’n’B star Chris Brown– who assaulted former girlfriend Rhianna in 2009– was banned from entering the country for his planned Australia tour. And, in the same year, Michaelia Cash repealed the visa application of notorious boxer Floyd Mayweather– previously charged with multiple accounts of battery and domestic assault against his former partners and children.
At a press conference appealing to Australians to change its cultural acceptance of domestic violence, and following his announcement of a $100 million funding boost addressing the crisis, Turnbull said:
“All violence against women begins with disrespecting women. We as leaders, as a government must make it — and we will make it — a clear national objective of ours to ensure that Australia is more respecting of women.”
But now we have to ask ourselves whether this emphatic crack-down, was just a fleeting political stunt?
Earlier this year, Mel Gibson, who pleaded no contest to a charge of slapping his baby’s mother, Oksana Grigorieva in 2010 was spotted holidaying in Sydney’s Double Bay.
While American rapper Eminem– who in 2000, released a song threatening to slit the throat of his ex-wife Kim resulting in her attempted suicide –has already locked in an Australia tour for 2019.
Why have we forgotten these incidents? Why is the Government turning a blind eye?
A spokesperson for Coleman said the Immigration Minister would not comment on individual cases. “All non-citizens entering Australia must meet the character requirements set out in the Migration Act 1958, prior to the grant of any visa,” a spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs told Fairfax.
But the heat sure seems to be off.
And Tom Meagher, like the rest of us, has every right to be livid.