Heartbreak as star of controversial ABC show takes his own life

After speaking openly on the horrific sexual abuse he suffered.
Dr KiddABC

A retired doctor who publicly opened up about the brutal sexual assault he suffered as a child by men much older than him, has committed suicide soon after revealing his story in a controversial ABC program. 

Orthopaedic surgeon Stuart Kidd, 60, spoke openly about the horrific sexual abuse he’d suffered on ABC’s You Can’t Ask That.

The retired doctor, from the Blue Mountains in Sydney, took his own life in May – six months after the episode was filmed and two months before it aired on Wednesday night. 

Kidd’s wife, Janet, told the Sydney Morning Herald, that her husband was ‘pleased’ with the episode when he viewed it. 

She said in a statement following his death, ‘It was tough, but we are all proud of him for putting the story out there and we all think it’s well done and powerful,’ she told the publication. 

‘He never stopped trying to find help and healing.’  

In the episode, Kidd reveals he was raped as a child and teenager. 

Dr Kidd revealed, ‘[It was] always a case of people being in a place of responsibility, abusing their power.

‘I was raped both ends by men 30, 40, years older than myself, and then by an older boy who I thought was a friend, and then by older men when I was a teenager.’ 

Fighting back tears, Kidd continues, ‘I was a child, and I was being cared for, supposedly being cared for, from the ages of three to six. I was just being myself, being a boy, paying the consequences for it.’

Dr Kidd
(Credit: ABC)

Dr Kidd also spoke candidly about the devastating impact the abuse had on his life.

He said, ‘I usually have to medicate myself with medicine that’s been prescribed to me to be able to survive a day…without hurting myself seriously.’ 

You Can’t Ask That producer and director Aaron Smith paid tribute to Dr Kidd’s ‘openness, strength and resolve’ in a statement to Fairfax Media.

‘Stuart’s contribution to You Can’t Ask That will have a lasting and profound impact on the audience, helping to reduce stigma and increase awareness and understanding for survivors of sexual assault,’ he said.

‘We share our heartfelt condolences with Stuart’s family and friends.’

The controversial episode featuring Dr Kidd has created an intense reaction from viewers, who have widely praised the sex abuse survivors for their strength. 

‘It’s quite shocking and confronting because every horrible victim-blaming question you’ve ever heard gets asked in this episode,’ says Binge List TV podcast host Matthew Denby, who criticises the anonymous questioners who submitted the comments, describing them as ‘just appalling.

‘But to their credit, the survivors of sexual abuse featured handle it extremely well, and they shame the people who ask these questions by telling the truth and busting these ridiculous myths that still persist about people who have been sexually assaulted.’

There is no suggestion that the recording of the episode was related to Dr Kidd’s passing. 

If you, or anyone you know, is seeking support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit

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