Pearl’s Metro FM sexual harassment nightmare out

Johannesburg – Radio personality Pearl Modiadie wasn’t entirely happy while working at Metro FM because of sexual harassment she allegedly suffered at the hands of her manager at Metro FM.

Modiadie, who was at the station for five years until early this year when her contract was not renewed, had complained to the then station manager about inappropriate comments that her manager made about her.

The sexual harassment that the mother of one, who co-hosted the midday show with Thomas Msengana, allegedly experienced at the station has been revealed by sources, who showed Sunday World e-mail exchanges between her and the station’s marketing team.

Read the latest development in this story: SABC responds to Pearl Modiadie’s sexual harassment claims

In an e-mail to event organisers, who had booked Modiadie for an appearance, a representative from Metro FM’s marketing team wrote: “When do you need Pearl on stage and for how long?” – enquiring about the amount of time allocated to the presenter.

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To Modiadie’s shock, her male manager responded to the e-mail, saying: “Yho since we are there, can I also get asked that question. When do you need Pearl and for how long … you are Pimpsta of the year. Sorry guys but that was really funny,” wrote the senior staff member.

This response angered Modiadie, who responded: “I don’t find the response funny at all. This is highly inappropriate. “ I’m asking about a job that I’ve been booked for by the station and you are taking it in a completely different direction. This is not the first time you’ve made such comments where I’m concerned and I will not take it anymore,” said Modiadie .

The male staffer then responded that he was “only joking”.

“My sincere apologies to you. It won’t happen again,” he wrote.

When contacted for comment, Modiadie confirmed that the incident did indeed happen.

“More than once, reference was made about my body shape and how ‘sexy it is’.

Uncomfortable sexual innuendos were thrown around during conversations, even in the presence of my now former colleagues,” she said.

“The outside broadcast you are referring to left me feeling like a piece of meat. It was an outside broadcast at a cricket stadium. I was wearing a tight jumpsuit and as we were taking pictures, he asked that I look the other way instead so that my ‘booty’ would be in the picture.

“There was also an incident where I had posted a bikini picture on Instagram and he inappropriately brought up a conversation about that picture and how ‘hot I looked’,” she said.

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“The last sexual remark he made was in an e-mail that other staff members were copied on. I responded that it made me feel uncomfortable and that I was tired of the sexual harassment I was subjected to. This e-mail was sent during my radio show and only one of the guys copied stood up for me.

“He then apologised on e-mail and came down to the studio to apologise in person. I was visibly upset and in tears! Even the celebrity guest who was present for his studio interview saw all of this. I felt violated and couldn’t even show up for work the next day,” she said.

“I had copied the then station manager in the e-mail and there was never a response from her. It was never addressed,” she said.

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SABC’s management said the matter was not brought to their attention.

“The SABC can confirm that we are not aware of this matter,” SABC group executive for corporate affairs and marketing, Gugu Ntuli, said when approached for comment.

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