Linda Reynolds does not deny she called Brittany Higgins a ‘lying cow’

Lawrence Kim
Марта 4, 2021

That's former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins response to Defence Minister Linda Reynolds who called her a "lying cow".

Ms Higgins didn't proceed with the police complaint in 2019 out of fear she would lose her job as a media adviser.

"It's just further evidence of the toxic workplace culture that exists behind closed doors in Parliament House".

"I spoke to Minister Reynolds this morning about this matter", Mr Morrison said.

"That's incredibly disappointing and inappropriate of Linda Reynolds and the minister should know better", she told the Nine Network. "And I share her view, obviously, about that".

The letter also noted that while Reynolds has apologised to her staff, she has not not actually apologised to Higgins herself about the comment. They weren't made in a public place and nor were they intended for that.

"That doesn't excuse it, not for a second".

The Guardian reports that Higgins and her lawyer, Giles, are now demanding an "immediate and unequivocal" retraction of the comments, as well as an apology.

Mr Morrison also stressed that Ms Reynolds had not made the comments in relation to Ms Higgins' claims of sexual assault. "They were made in her private office in a stressful week". I don't condone them. Clearly, over a period of time there was a very different view about that. "But what matters is that we continue to address the substance of the issues".

The Australian reports that staff expressed concerns to superiors that Reynolds' comments were inappropriate.

The Defence Minister has apologised to staff for the remarks which she said had been made during "a stressful time".

"I have never questioned Ms Higgins' account of her alleged sexual assault and have always sought to respect her agency in this matter".

Brittany Higgins made a formal statement to Australian Federal Police last week and said she had not previously done so for fear of losing her job
Brittany Higgins' lawyers demand apology over 'lying cow' comment

The woman's family issued a statement on Thursday saying they "are supportive of any enquiry which would potentially shed light on the circumstances surrounding the deceased's passing", the Australian media reported.

Scott Morrison is facing double trouble with two cabinet ministers out on stress leave and his Defence Minister accused of calling an alleged rape victim a "lying cow".

The prime minister said Senator Reynolds was frustrated over suggestions she did not give enough support to Ms Higgins at the time of the incident.

"Ms Higgins' allegations are very serious and that is how they must be treated to ensure her legal rights are protected", Senator Reynolds said.

The former Liberal staffer alleges that she was raped at Parliament House on a couch in the then defence industry minister Senator Reynolds's office by a colleague in March 2019.

He was sacked as a ministerial adviser because of a security breach on the night of Ms Higgins' alleged rape.

Senator Reynolds reportedly made the comment on 15 February - the same day Ms Higgins went public with allegations she was raped by a male colleague inside Senator Reynolds' office in March 2019, when she was 24 years old.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier condemned the remarks but defended Senator Reynolds, saying she regrets the comments and the last few weeks had been "traumatic" for many people, resulting in high tensions.

Senator Reynolds was admitted into hospital late last month as a "precautionary measure" following advice from her cardiologist.

The Senator has since released a statement to clarify what she meant.

She is on medical leave until next week.

Ms Reynolds is just one of two senior Cabinet ministers now on health leave after being caught up in separate rape allegations.

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