This is the BBC. This podcast is supported by advertising outside the UK. BBC sounds, music, radio, podcasts, this podcast refers to child sexual abuse and contains interviews that some listeners may find upsetting, as well as some strong language right from the start, episode eight. Talk. That's fucking that, is it? No, it's the same car. No, no, it's not. No. Oh, it is. Is it? Is it.
Yeah. You're joking me. Oh, no. It's the same color, it's a Honda and it's a it's a. You are kidding me. Red lights coming up nice, you're going to find us. After we saw George Clooney volunteering at the hospice, things suddenly got quiet, very quiet. Ali, there is no. For a couple of days, nothing happened, there was no movement was strange. They're going. Yeah, I'd like to go left.
I don't think it is. Yeah, that's not them. Give me. Never even left his house. We wondered if he was even there anymore. There was no sign of. It was worrying because suddenly you were running out of time to talk to everything we've just hired and just had a bit of luck today.
Yeah, well, you know what? I don't agree with the first day. You know, like, we were kind of messed up there. No, it's it's just before we lost sight of George Gibney, we'd finalized talks with the BBC on how best to approach them for an interview. We'd just been given the clearance to go ahead.
The irony, it had been going on for weeks. It's a big it's a big housing community. We want to talk to him to give him a letter asking for an interview, the right to reply. No, but there's a catch and it's a big one. Yeah. Yeah.
If you're going to U.S. states have differing laws around privacy and recording in Florida, it's illegal to simply doorstep somebody at their home.
The law deems that the individual has a right to expect privacy in that situation. Add to that Florida's liberal gun ownership laws and very clear self-defense laws when you're in your own residence and we can't just go and knock on his door. So we have to wait until he's in a public place on the street, in a public park, in a car park. But he hasn't left his house. No. In days.
No, he he's just he's gone to one church, you know, that that would be his church, which is across the way.
So but, you know, the thing is that George Gibney moves a lot since the High Court decision in Ireland. He's moved from place to place. Usually when his pastor is identified, it's only a matter of time before he gets wind of our series. And when he does, he may well move again. It's now our final full day before we fly home, and we haven't seen Gibney now in days, feel strange as well, go to bed when it's dark and then get still dark, you know.
We sit and we wait hour after hour. And it's been helping couples sleep for over 18 years. It is the number one selling Antenori Medicine in the US. Number one, you saved my marriage.
The breaking news this morning, the FBI has arrested the president's political adviser. After over 11 hours in the car, it's getting dark and it's not looking good. There's no sign of George Ghiberti, barely any traffic. Mark, first of all, after the last ten minutes, is a. The same thing has happened for three days now it's going. We start to think, does he know we're here, has this neighbor who confronted us said something to him, did somebody at the hospice spot us or are we being paranoid?
We wonder where is George Gibney? Are you get on there, Mark. I think you're struggling a bit. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's no opportunity for us to do anything today, but it's like it's it's like we've been here since 7:00 a.m., so that's outsmarts, you know, and I'm happy to go on more life or whatever. It's just more difficult now. You know, why do you take like the key to this is actually this kind of trauma, this.
You might get them at nine o'clock to public afterwards. It is kind of last chance to that before we got back to our. At first, I thought, OK, we're flying home to Ireland this afternoon, we decided to try again for just a few hours. It's our last chance. We parkop outside the housing complex are packed, suitcases are in the back of the car. Whatever happens, our next stop is the airport. Quote, unquote, very stuff.
Yeah. OK, yeah, right, Lane. Then all of a sudden a CRV that looks like the car Gibney has been using drives out at the entrance. We do not know what happens to their current levels. OK, if that's the case, we're in a very good position here at work, but it's OK, it's going this way that usually the car goes left or right and we follow. But this time the car catches us out and goes straight through the junction, driving straight past us.
OK, we spot George give me in the passenger seat. He's being driven by his housemate. So down that way. So I'm going to do this. But please let me have. We follow always two cars behind. OK, I can't get any closer. So we miss the light here, we miss the lights within our sight. OK, for two cars ahead. So. We'll see where this takes us. They turn suddenly into a shopping center.
Public place. They seem to be going into Oak Grove shopping centre. They're going into a new shop. I'm nervous and I'm already thinking ahead of what to say. When I drive up onto the curb, OK, that's after hanging on to a curb, just pulled up beside them. George Keaveney and his housemate have gone into a department store. We spot where they parked the car and we get ready. OK, the two of them are walking in together when they leave the store and walk back towards their car while approaching.
OK, can you just listen to this, OK? I'm going to walk over and you're going to just see if you can hear me, OK? Just I'm going to talk now. We've thought about this moment for so long, they're going over this very scenario many times I'm going to walk towards them alone. I don't want them to think there's a crew or cameras. I want to give us the best chance of getting a response. My handshake is to get this, Michael.
He's known as John, so that's how I plan to get his attention to not immediately shock him with George. No one calls him out here. This rosary beads the two sets of rosary rosary beads hanging out of the car, going their. Yeah. We've parked our car three spaces away from theirs. We can't miss the. We stand there and we wait. It feels like he's been in there for an age. OK, take a deep breath there.
Get it into your. Is good and doesn't need to happen, OK? Yeah. It's perfect timing. Then George Clooney walks out of the store. OK, we're ready. Give me and his a welcome back to the car. OK, one second. And walk towards them. OK, I walk towards him along with my interview request in my hand. Excuse me, John. Hi, John. Can I give you this, please? My name is Mark Hawk and I'm a journalist with the BBC.
I'm recording audio at the moment. This is a request for an interview. Give me won't take my envelope, his housemate says, forget it, forget us. We're going to be broadcasting a documentary series, a podcast series based on your life and the allegations against you, and we really like for you to be able to tell your side of the story. Given his throne, he's panicking. He staggers away from his own car, he's momentarily dazed, he's wandering in a circle.
I think to say. It's a strange sight. You've been quiet for about twenty five years, George, I think the survivors deserve to hear your voice. His housemate gets into the car and starts the engine, Gibney cautiously walks back past me, not one's looking me in the eye. We're going to FedEx this over to you. He gets in and they drive off suddenly. George Keaveney says nothing, he's mute throughout the entire encounter. It's like an involuntary reaction when you call out his name.
He doesn't say hello or you, George, given his natural reaction when approached, is to say absolutely nothing. The strategy of literal silence. We're joined, as I said, by George, give me George. George, give me our great Olympic swimming race. And as George Howell, 17, and George, have we built the swimmers up too high, realistically would be our best ever ranked swimmers prior to the Olympic Games? We're very hopeful. Pardon me if I'm a little bit cynical, George.
I mean, is that realistic against that kind of a feat? You can't just go along with the wave if you want to make exceptional progress. George, it's been a very good gala. Well, there's no doubt the first time we've ever managed to get medals at that level. And I'd say, George, your salivating at the prospects ahead, you seem to be taking leaps and bounds and certainly the opportunity will be another one. George, good luck for so long.
Thanks very much, George. George. Best of luck there. Thank you very much indeed. Evy. And. I think the initial reaction when I approached them, first of all, he he wasn't sure for a second, you know, but then I think he heard the accent and I think then he realized what was going on. I don't think many people approach them for so I don't think they have many interactions apart from when they go to a shop like this or when they go to the supermarket, I don't think they talk to many people.
So I think when anybody approaches them, they feel something could be up here. And why do you think he came up this way? Because he thought that I was going to he had a panic. You know, he walked past the car. He thought that we didn't identify his car. So he just had a momentary panic. He went back. Got in the car, he realized there was nothing I could do, so he obviously just had a panic for a second.
He it's been a long time since anybody's done this, and it's been a really long time since maybe he felt people have forgotten about. It's been a it's been a long time since he's been confronted. This is an incredible sense of frustration for people if they're looking to hear something from this man for such a long period of time, for so many years, and people feel that they want answers of some kind from him and that any time his approach, he just he should laugh like he did there.
He ran off and then he turned back and run in and then saw where he could go. And that was it. It's kind of just an unusual thing and that in some ways we wanted to hear his voice, you want to hear him speak for a little bit, because I think it is haunting. I think 25 years to think that man hasn't spoken when all he did was speak on chat shows and speak on, you know, press conferences and speak as a TV analyst.
That's what he did. He spoke. He got his message across and then he waited 25 years. He can't say anything to anybody and he refuses to he stays mute and somebody approaches him like that. Because you want to just hear his voice now? Yeah, I want to hear his voice. And maybe we did. Maybe maybe we'll be able to hear his voice, you know, maybe you'll hear something when we listen back to it. I listen back afterwards, and there's nothing, just the atmosphere of an outlet mall in Orlando, Florida, the hum of traffic, the sound of trollies.
No sign of George Kibbie, not even a murmur, a greeting, just silence. George Keaveney. MEUs. There's no one else I'm missing here. No. So George Clooney did want to talk, but it turns out others wanted to talk about him or. You are sick, you voice messages, post message received today at 13 56. OK. Yeah, OK, so I just go, no, just OK. Can you hear me? Yeah, I can't hear you.
Yeah, I can hear you.
Fine. Actually that line is a bit better than yesterday. You can hear me a bit better than yesterday. Can you. And yeah. Much better. Yeah. OK, great.
Just give me one sec. OK. Sorry to keep you cheese. It must be all hours over there and as well as it. I know it's only a 30 or something.
Oh good. OK, ok. Good stuff. Paw, paw, paw. Hello. Hi, how are you doing? I can hear you fine.
Throughout the course of this series, people were reminded of incidents in their own childhood. Children who are coached by George Gibney in the 70s, 80s and 90s began contacting us. And they were called memories that had stayed with them.
Certainly there I was like from nowhere. He just appeared. He had me cornered and he said, well, I'll give you a lift home. And I always had an excuse so that I said, no, it's OK. Honestly, it's OK. I'll be home in 10 minutes. And he said, no, I insist I am not letting you go and walk in the rain. So he said, you just get into that car. There was little room between the shop and the swimming pool, and I wouldn't have walked through that way because that wouldn't have been my rules.
But he asked me in there, pull me in, or he called me and he said, I think you're a good swimmer.
And I said, I have to talk to you. I think you should get the tags and ask me to come on behind the desk. He said I wanted to try on the tags. My sister actually has a really vivid memory of him just appearing at her bedroom door when she was playing. So he actually managed to get up the stairs. And then my next memory is being in the hotel room. I remember him just walking in the door and the door closed and just getting back to price when you go door.
You have five million images. First message received today at.
All of these voices had never spoken before. They spoke of former teammates, they asked after people who'd vanished and they never knew why, they spoke of the silence that they'd shared as kids and they spoke of incidents where they were sexually assaulted. I just remember being really scared as well, like when even when I think of it now, I could feel how scared I was, you know, he would stand by the showers when we were showering. And I can still see him standing, watching us in the showers.
I just remember when he kissed me, my first kiss was with him. So, of course, that's always been an appalling thought.
I went in to get their flippers. Flipper's the next thing. The lights went off and he grabbed me and went to kiss me.
And I got into the car with such a heavy heart. And then I saw his daughter and I remember thinking, OK, I might be OK. Then, you know, she was just strapped into her baby seat in the back. She was maybe one or two.
One morning. I remember our Neutrogena leotards had arrived and it was very early in the morning and George managed to get myself another gymnast into his office and insisted that we change into the right in front of them. We already had our own leotards on, so we had to change them into the new leotards so half naked while he just stared at us.
Kiss me on the lips and put his tongue in my mouth, and I remember feeling that his wife and children were outside, so the whole thing was extraordinary.
I said to him, you know, George and I had my hand on the door and I a lot like I said, George, I'm going to get out. And he said, no, no, no, I'm going home. And I said, no, no, I'm going to get out. And he said, Well, you have to thank you, guys. Thank you very much. He said, no, you have to thank me properly.
And I said I kind of looked at him. I thought, oh, no. And then he said, you have to type me like you think your father.
And then, of course, he called me over, ask, could he have a look at it, put his fingers under the elastic. I remember on the leg to check that the elastic was right with his fingers right up to my bum. And we knew that this was wrong. But nobody actually really said anything. The adults never said anything about.
And it kind of gave me his cheek, so I said, OK, thank you. And I went to kiss his cheek and he turned he put his hands onto my chin and he started to kiss me like a French kiss, but not a proper one because I didn't know how to do that, but.
But it was my formative teenage years and this is our whole experience of growing up. And yet we thought it was normal because none of the adults said anything and we assumed that they knew that this was sort of thing was going on.
She scared me out of men for a long while.
I think it actually did affect me through my life. And then in general. Or men in Accorsi or.
We just figured that, you know, he was a privileged man and privileged men were allowed to do that to to young people because nobody actually stopped him. It's always been with me, what he did to me was a shocking experience because I felt I was in a safe environment with all my wonderful girlfriends doing what we love doing.
And just as a kid, you can't explain it, but you know it's not right. And looking back, I'm amazed. Amazed. I'm totally not allowed into my room, but my mom would like us, but I just remember being absolutely terrified. It seems like a minute, but it was along he was in the room for a long time and but he did go very quick when I started screaming at him. And I remember him just running, getting up and just running.
I can still see the back of his head.
We get back in our car and leave the car park, our last journey before we go home is to put our interview request through Gibbons's letterbox companies and.
But let's go home, yeah. George Keaveney didn't want to talk to us, but former swimmers of his people who now lived all over the world, the United States, Singapore, Australia, the UK and Ireland, they did. They wanted to talk. They had something to say.
The final two episodes of Where Is George Clooney will be produced and broadcast in real time, taking into account some of the correspondents and coverage we've received over the past eight weeks. Episode nine will be available on Thursday, December 3rd, with Episode 10 coming a week later. Thanks to everybody for listening so far. And on to all of you have gotten in touch from around the world. If you'd like to join the many people who've contacted us, people with their own stories and memories and questions, please do get in touch to where is George Gibney at BBC Dakotah, U.K. that's where is George Gibney all one word at BBC.
Dakoda, U.K.. And you can find us on Social Second Captains. If you've been affected by any of the issues in this series, please contact support organizations in your own country for a list of organizations in the U.K. that can provide support for survivors of sexual abuse. Go to BBC Dakoda U.K. Forward Slash Action Line. Where is George Gibney is a second captain's production for BBC Sense. The series is written and produced by me, Mark Horgan and Kiran Cassidy.
It's co-produced with Maria Horgan. An editing is also by Karen Cassidy. Research and fact checking is by Kelly and Dan are composers Michael Fleming and Sound Mixing is by Jack McDonnell. Our theme tune is by Aaron Dessner. The executive producer for the BBC is Dylan Huskins and the commissioning editor is Jason FIPS. Once again, you'll be able to listen to Episode nine of Where Is George Clooney on Thursday, 3rd of December. In the meantime, there'll be a Q&A special on the series available in just a few weeks time exclusively on BBC Sense.
You can listen by downloading the free BBC sounds up wherever you are in the world. Thanks again and I'll talk to you then. Over the last 13 years, I have met really memorable people, if you were convinced about something to be silent about its cowardice.
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A huge news story brought me back to my hometown of Huddersfield.
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