Australian Radio Host Fired For Asking Prime Minister If Her Partner Is Gay

Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard (L) stops to smell an orchid next to her partner Tim Mathieson after an orchid naming ceremony at the Singapore Botanical Gardens April 23, 2012. REUTERS/Edgar Su

An Australian radio station fired a popular long-time host after he questioned Prime Minister Julia Gillard on air Thursday about her partner’s sexuality.

Howard Sattler repeatedly quizzed Gillard on Perth radio station 6PR whether her partner, Tim Mathieson, a hairdresser, is gay, and if their relationship was romantic or platonic.

In a statement read on air late Friday, the station apologized “unreservedly” for Sattler’s line of questioning.

“That was disrespectful to the office and the person of the prime minister and was entirely inappropriate,” the statement read.

During the interview, Gillard defended her relationship.

“Right, well, let me just bring you back to Earth,” she told Sattler during the questioning. “We live together as a couple. You know that. Yes, on the Internet there are lots of what I’ve referred to in the past as nutjobs and I’m happy to use the expression again.”

Sattler plans to sue the radio station for his dismissal.