Australia's Defence Minister Doesn't Deny Calling Alleged Rape Victim A 'Lying Cow'
Australia’s Defence Minister has not denied reports she called an alleged rape victim a ‘lying cow’.
The Australian newspaper reported Linda Reynolds made the statement in front of staff members after Brittany Higgins aired her harrowing alleged account of being sexually assaulted inside a ministerial wing of Parliament two years ago.
The Senator has since released a statement to clarify what she meant.
“A report in The Australian attributed some remarks to me regarding the very serious allegations made by my former staff member, Ms Brittany Higgins,” she said.
“I have never questioned Ms Higgins’ account of her alleged sexual assault and have always sought to respect her agency in this matter.
“I did however comment on news reports regarding surrounding circumstances that I felt had been misrepresented.
“I have consistently respected Ms Higgins’ agency and privacy and said this is her story to tell and no one else’s.
“Ms Higgins’ allegations are very serious and that is how they must be treated to ensure her legal rights are protected. I welcome her decision to progress this matter with the Australian Federal Police.”
Ms Higgins told news.com.au about the horrifying incident that allegedly happened when she was just 24 after colleagues had drinks together.
Brittany Higgins Accuses Prime Minister Of Victim Blaming Over Her Parliament Rape Claim
She and the staffer got into the office of her boss, Senator Linda Reynolds, and she remembers passing out on a couch and feeling ill.
When she woke up, she claims the unnamed man was on top of her and was having sex with her.
She remembered being in pain because she alleged her leg was being pinned down and the colleague didn’t look at her during the ordeal. When he was finished, he got up and left.
The allegation has seen another woman come forward to claim she was also sexually assaulted by the same staffer.
Ms Reynolds has come under fire for the way she handled Ms Higgins’ sexual assault allegation, revealing to the Senate she didn’t inform the Prime Minister when she first heard the account.
She hit back at criticism from Labor and accused the Opposition of ‘assuming the nature of a private conversation, private conversations that I had with Ms Higgins’ and added that it wasn’t her story to tell.
Since Ms Higgins came forward, Ms Reynolds has taken medical leave after advice from her cardiologist.