Prime Minister Scott Morrison appears with former Attorney-General Christian Porter


The Prime Minister has appeared in public with Christian Porter for the first time since the senior cabinet minister was stripped of his Attorney-General role.

The two were spotted together during a media event in Perth on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Porter has been embroiled in controversy since revealing himself as the minister at the centre of a historic rape allegation involving a 16-year-old girl in 1988, a claim he emphatically denies.

He has never been charged and police confirmed there was “insufficient evidence” to proceed with an investigation, labelling the matter “closed”.

The controversy has plagued the government over many weeks, however, with Scott Morrison being criticised by the opposition and wider public over the handling of the matter as well as Brittany Higgins’ claim she was raped in parliament by a former Liberal staffer.

In mid-March, Mr Porter launched defamation proceedings against the ABC and its journalist Louise Milligan, claiming he had been subjected to “trial by media” in relation to the historic allegations.

Milligan, a Four Corners reporter, broke the news an anonymous letter outlining the unsubstantiated allegations had been sent to Mr Morrison, Labor frontbencher Penny Wong and Greens senator Sarah-Hanson-Young.

Milligan did not name Mr Porter, referring to a “senior cabinet minister”, but he revealed himself publicly days later.

In a statement from Mr Porter’s lawyers confirming the defamation proceedings, it was claimed that despite not being named, “the article made allegations against a senior cabinet minister and the Attorney-General was easily identifiable to many Australians as the subject of the allegations”.

“Over the last few weeks, the Attorney-General has been subjected to trial by media without regard to the presumption of innocence or the rules of evidence and without any proper disclosure of the material said to support the untrue allegations.

“The trial by media should now end with the commencement of these proceedings.”

Mr Porter was stripped of his Attorney-General duties at the end of March amid criticism the role created a conflict of interest given his decision to launch defamation proceedings against the ABC.

He now serves as the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology.



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Why NSW Police never interviewed Christian Porter


NSW Police have revealed why they never interviewed former Attorney-General Christian Porter over a 1988 rape allegation and confirmed the alleged victim tried to deliver a statement via Skype during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Outlining new information about how the case was handled, police have confirmed the woman who accused Mr Porter of rape asked to deliver her witness statement via Skype during the COVID-19 pandemic – a request the NSW Police resisted and her friends and family were never interviewed after her death.

The woman ultimately decided to withdraw her complaint after COVID delayed the meeting with detectives and died by suicide at home just 24 hours later.

Mr Porter strenuously denies the allegations that relate to a 1988 debating conference in Sydney. He has launched defamation action against the ABC over the reporting of an anonymous letter sent to the Prime Minister setting out allegations against a member of Cabinet.

He subsequently self-identified himself as the target of the allegations.

RELATED: NSW Police never got letter outlining allegations

It was the woman’s decision to withdraw the complaint that resulted in police not interviewing Mr Porter after her death, according to NSW Police.

“It is current standard practice that once a signed victim statement has been obtained from a victim and further corroborative enquiries are made, the formal allegation can and should be put to the person of interest as per procedural fairness principles for investigators,” NSW Police said.

“On June 23, 2020 the (alleged) victim clearly communicated to investigators that she no longer felt able to proceed with the report. The NSWPF did not have a signed statement from the (alleged) victim, hence no formal allegation to put to the person of interest. In keeping with the (alleged) victim’s wishes no further investigation took place and the person of interest was not interviewed.”

NSW Police established Strike Force Wyndarra in February 2020 after receiving information from Mr Porter’s accuser.

Detectives from Strike Force Wyndarra were due to travel to Adelaide to take the woman’s formal statement in March 2020 but their trip was postponed after the COVID-19 outbreak.

RELATED: Accuser’s family begs media not to identify daughter

On Wednesday June 24, 2020, the woman’s body was located at a home at Adelaide by South Australia Police. She had committed suicide just hours after telling police she did not want to proceed with a formal complaint.

In answers to questions on notice, NSW Police confirmed the complainant did ask to provide a formal statement over the telephone or via video.

“Yes. On April 1, 2020, the (alleged) victim requested that she commence her statement by way of Skype,” the response states.

“Investigators consulted with the (alleged) victim on April 2, 2020 by way of teleconference. Options were presented to the (alleged) victim in relation to obtaining her statement. A joint decision by all parties was made not to conduct the interview remotely. There were a number of reasons which led to this decision. The (alleged) victim was understanding and supportive of this decision.”

NSW Police also confirmed they made six telephone calls to the woman which were not answered.

RELATED: Porter, Reynolds moved in Cabinet reshuffle

The alleged victim also made two telephone calls to investigators which were not answered. On both occasions the woman’s missed calls were returned within seven minutes and five hours and 26 minutes respectively.

NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge said the responses from NSW Police demanded further explanation.

“These answers raise yet more questions about the response of the NSW Police,” he said.

“When you speak to experienced investigators who have dealt with historical allegations they will tell you it’s not perfect but sometimes it’s the only option to take a statement by phone or video link.

“What is very distressing here is that this was an option that was requested by the complainant and open to police but for whatever reason was taken off the table.”

The answers provided also detail the Australian Federal Police decision to brief the NSW Police on the letter outlining the allegations rather than send it to investigators in full.

The letter requested urgent action be taken by the Prime Minister to investigate the 1988 alleged rape.

RELATED: Details of Porter’s ABC defamation suit

It urged the Prime Minister to set up an independent parliamentary investigation into the matter, similar to that commissioned by the High Court into allegations against former Justice, Dyson Heydon.

“When news of [the complainant’s alleged] rape becomes widely known to the public (as it most likely will), legitimate questions will be asked as to who knew what, when they knew and what they did,” the letter states.

“This is occurring today in relation to Brittany Higgins. The loss of respect for our political institutions will be exacerbated.

“There will be considerable damage to community perceptions of justice … and the parliament when this story becomes public if it is simultaneously revealed that senior people (like yourselves) were aware of the accusation but had done nothing.

“Failing to take parliamentary action because the NSW Police cannot take criminal action would seem like wilful blindness.”

The South Australia Coroner is yet to determine whether to conduct a public inquest into the woman’s death.



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Christian Porter and Linda Reynolds lose Attorney-General in major Cabinet reshuffle


Christian Porter and Linda Reynolds have been stripped of their portfolios, with Prime Minster Scott Morrison announcing a cabinet reshuffle after several weeks of chaos.

Mr Porter will lose the Attorney-General post and Ms Reynolds has been dumped from the Defence Ministry.

Mr Porter announced he was going on mental health leave at a press conference on March 3, in which he vehemently denied a historical claim that he raped a 16-year-old girl.

He has been under pressure to resign after he revealed himself as the minister at the centre of the rape allegation.

Mr Porter has never been charged and police confirmed there was “insufficient evidence” to proceed with an investigation, labelling the matter “closed”.

His decision to launch defamation proceedings against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan saw calls for him to be removed from his position intensify, over conflict of interest concerns.

Meanwhile, Senator Reynolds has been on leave since February after being admitted to hospital to receive treatment for a pre-existing heart condition.

She has faced intense criticism over her handling of Brittany Higgins’ alleged rape in Parliament House — first reported by news.com.au in February this year.

The former Liberal Party staffer has alleged she was raped at Parliament House in Defence Minister Linda Reynolds’ ministerial office by a colleague.

Police are investigating the incident and a political inquiry was suspended on Monday over concerns it could interfere with the criminal probe.

The Morrison government has been under renewed pressure since the publication last week of “disgusting” images and videos of male senior government staff performing sex acts in Parliament House.

A shambolic press conference by Scott Morrison the next day, in which he falsely claimed News Corp Australia – publisher of news.com.au – was subject to its own harassment investigation, saw criticism intensify.

On top of that, the saga surrounding Queensland MP Andrew Laming has added fuel to the fire, with him now saying he won’t contest the next election.

More to come …



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Rape, sex scandals rocking Australian Parliament


Coalition media adviser Brittany Higgins first came forward with claims she was raped in Parliament House by a colleague in a news.com.au story in mid-February.

Since then, the government has been rocked by scandal after scandal, including bombshell allegations Attorney-General Christian Porter raped a woman in 1988.

Here’s everything you need to know about the sex and rape scandals surrounding Parliament House in the past two months.

TIMELINE OF EVENTS

FEBRUARY 15: Coalition staffer Brittany Higgins says she was raped in Parliament House. The alleged rape occurred inside the office of Defence Minister Linda Reynolds about 2am on March 23, 2019, when Ms Higgins was aged 24. Her allegation to news.com.au is that after a night of drinking with colleagues, she got into a taxi with a male staffer while heavily intoxicated thinking she was going home. Instead he took her to Parliament House. She says she fell asleep on the couch in Ms Reynolds’ office and woke up with the man raping her.

She says she was crying and begging him to stop during the rape, and that she was left with bruises. She says he left her undressed on the couch to be discovered by security. She says she disclosed what happened to her chief of staff within the coalition at the time. After this, she says she was called to have a meeting about it in the same room that the rape occurred. She did not go to police at the time because she feared it could affect her job but has since made a formal complaint.

FEBRUARY 18: The Prime Minister’s office is accused by media figures of “backgrounding” journalists — making claims and comments without putting a name to it — against Ms Higgins’ partner after the rape story breaks on news.com.au. The accusation is denied by the government.

FEBRUARY 26: The ABC reports an unnamed senior cabinet minister has been accused of rape. It is revealed Prime Minister Scott Morrison and others were sent a letter detailing the historical allegation, with a thorough statement made by the woman, who took her own life in June aged 49. She claimed she was raped by the man when she was 16.

MARCH 3: Attorney-General Christian Porter reveals he is the cabinet minister accused of rape in a Perth press conference. He denies raping the woman in 1988 when he was 17 during a debating competition at Sydney University. “The things that have been claimed to happen did not happen,” he says. He goes on take stress leave, due to return March 31.

MARCH 3: The Australian reports that Defence Minister Linda Reynolds – in whose office the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins occurred — called Ms Higgins a “lying cow” to her staff after the original story came out in February. Ms Higgins sues her former boss for defamation in response, resulting in a confidential settlement which Ms Higgins says she is donating to organisations that help victims of sexual assault. Ms Reynolds, who was on already on medical leave, announces she will extend it.

MARCH 15: Tens of thousands of protesters take to the streets across Australia in March 4 Justice rallies in response to the shocking allegations coming out of parliament. In Canberra, Brittany Higgins delivers a powerful and emotional address. In Hobart, Grace Tame tells the crowd that evil thrives in silence and it’s time for “making noise”. In Perth, Christian Porter’s ex-wife Lucy Gunn is spotted marching with the crowd.

MARCH 15:Scott Morrison is criticised for his response to the marches, saying it was a triumph of democracy that protesters were not shot in Australia like they are in some countries overseas. “This is a vibrant liberal democracy,” he said. “Not far from here, such marches – even now – are being met with bullets but not here in this country. This is a triumph of democracy when we see these things take place.” He declines to attend the Canberra march but offers to meet with organisers in private, which is also declined.

MARCH 15: News.com.au reveals posts from a private Facebook group for women who work for the Labor Party, with harrowing allegations including senior male political figures pressuring women for sex and having sex with them when they were too drunk to consent, kissing them without consent, insulting them in crude and misogynistic language, and making comments on their looks.

MARCH 15:Christian Porter announces he is suing the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan claiming defamation over the story revealing an unnamed senior cabinet minister had been accused of rape.

MARCH 22: It is revealed a parliamentary probe into who in Scott Morrison’s office knew about the Brittany Higgins rape allegation was suspended on March 9. The man leading the probe, Phil Gaetjens, says it was suspended to ensure a police investigation was not interfered with.

MARCH 22: Photos and videosshowing a Coalition staffer masturbating on the desk of an unnamed female MP in Parliament House are revealed on Channel 10. An anonymous insider shares allegations that male staffers routinely send photos and videos taken within Parliament House of each other of a sexual nature. One photo is of a man exposing himself with a copy of the Parliament House rule book behind him. The source also claims the prayer room within Parliament House is routinely used for sex by staffers and MPs, and that sex workers are frequently brought into the building by those who work there. The Prime Minister says the staff member at the centre of the masturbating incident has been fired.

MARCH 22: Five other women by now have made allegations about the man accused of raping Brittany Higgins, including his former housemate Kriti Gupta who told the ABC she felt unsafe living with him because of his demands for sex. An anonymous Liberal staffer previously alleged to the Australian the man raped her at a hotel, another said he assaulted her while she was a virgin, another also said he sexually assaulted her, and another claimed he cornered her in a bar and started touching her .

MARCH 23: Scott Morrison breaks down in tears discussing the “shameful” behaviour aired in the Channel 10 report, saying he was “shocked” and “disgusted”. “I was completely stunned, as I have been on more than one occasion over the course of this last month”. The Prime Minister said it had been a “traumatic month”, beginning with the Brittany Higgins allegations. “Women have been putting up with this crap all their lives,” he said.



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Prime Minister Scott Morrison seeks advice from Solicitor-General on Christian Porter


Scott Morrison has received advice from the Solicitor General over Christian Porter’s fitness for office and will be making “further decisions” on the matter.

Mr Porter has launched a defamation action against the ABC and its journalist Louise Milligan, who aired an allegation he raped a 16-year old in 1988, which he denied.

The Prime Minister confirmed last week that Mr Porter would not perform roles relating to the ABC or the Federal Court while the matter was being heard.

And he revealed on Tuesday that he had been seeking advice from Solicitor-General Stephen Donoghue QC over whether there were any legal questions over Mr Porter remaining in his role.

“I have received that advice and am now taking advice through the department about how that sits with ministerial standards,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“I will be making further decisions on that matter, (and) I will alert you to those when they are made.”

RELATED: Christian Porter launches defamation suit against the ABC, Louise Milligan

Mr Morrison had previously only sought advice from his department, having declared Mr Porter an “an innocent man under our law” and insisting he would not be removed as Attorney-General.

Less than two weeks ago, he rejected suggestions he would ask Mr Donoghue to look into the matter.

“That’s not the advice that I’ve received from my department, as I’ve dealt with that issue,” he said.

In February, a historical rape allegation levelled at a senior cabinet minister, since revealed to be Mr Porter, was made public by the ABC after details of the alleged crime were sent to the Prime Minister.

Mr Porter has been on paid mental health leave since outing himself as the minister at the centre of the allegation.

He claimed the ABC and Milligan had subjected him to a “trial by media” and, despite not naming him, ensured it was inevitable he would be identified.

They will be defended by former solicitor-general Justin Gleeson.

NSW Police were unable to continue with an investigation after the alleged victim took her own life in 2020, a day after informing police she no longer wanted to pursue the matter.

The SA coroner has ordered a probe into the circumstances surrounding the woman’s death, but the government has resisted calls for an independent probe into her allegation.



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Labor’s concerned about political ramifications of Christian Porter defamation action


Labor’s shadow attorney-general says he is worried the Morrison Government might use Attorney-General Christian Porter’s defamation action to “muzzle” political discussion.

Mr Porter is suing the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan over their coverage of historical rape allegations, although he was not named in the reports.

Labor’s Mark Dreyfus, who was attorney-general under the Gillard and Rudd governments, told ABC’s Patricia Karvelas that Mr Porter would have to prove he was identified by the ABC reports despite the fact they did not name him.

However, he said he was more concerned about other ramifications of the legal action.

“I’m more troubled about the use that the Government might seek to put this defamation action to, as an attempt, which they’re already making, to muzzle further discussion or to suggest that because this matter is now part of a private defamation action by Christian Porter that that should be enough,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“It’s nothing of the kind. It’s just as I’ve said, a private defamation action and it will resolve only that question of Mr Porter’s reputation. It won’t resolve his fitness for office. That’s why we need an independent inquiry.”

RELATED: PM asked Porter to give up duties after legal advice

Mr Dreyfus said he thought Australia’s defamation laws have had a “chilling effect” on public interest journalism in the country.

He also thought Mr Porter should not be able to return to his role if he is unable to perform all his duties. Prime Minister Scott Morrison told parliament on Tuesday that Mr Porter would return as Attorney-General but won’t perform certain functions involving the ABC or Federal Court to avoid a conflict of interest.

“He should have stood aside some weeks back,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“It’s not appropriate that there be these serious allegations of sexual assault hanging over the Attorney-General of Australia. He should have stood aside and there should have been an independent inquiry commenced some weeks back.”

Mr Dreyfus said that the move is also “making the point more clear”.

“We’ve got the Prime Minister saying that, in his opinion, the Attorney-General can return to work but he won’t be able to do some parts of his work because of what the Prime Minister accepts is a conflict of interest,” he said.

“This Attorney-General has to establish that he’s fit for office, fit for the high office that he holds as the first law officer.

“The Prime Minister seems to be pretending that all of this has been made to go away because the New South Wales Police can investigate no further.

“We had the Prime Minister today, disgracefully, pretending in Question Time that the NSW Police had fully investigated this matter.

“They didn’t, and that needs to be made clear and I think it is clear to Australians because that’s why Australians are calling for there to be an independent investigation. They know that there has not been an investigation of these serious allegations.”



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Scott Morrison defends ‘bullets’ remark


Scott Morrison has repeated his remark that it was a triumph protesters outside Parliament House were not “met with bullets” on Monday.

The Prime Minister was blasted over the comments about the March 4 Justice rally, attended by former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, who alleges she was raped by a colleague in a ministerial office in 2019.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese used Question Time on Tuesday to ramp up the attack on Mr Morrison, asking if he regretted making the comment on the second anniversary of the Christchurch massacre.

But Mr Morrison slammed Mr Albanese, saying he did not deserve to be in office.

“The leader of the Opposition has engaged, I think, in a very unworthy, a very unworthy and egregious slur,” Mr Morrison said in a spray.

“What issues does the leader of the Opposition have with celebrating democracy and the right to protest?”

Mr Morrison on Monday told the parliament that “not far from here, such marches, even now are being met with bullets”.

“But not here in this country,” he said.

“This is a triumph of democracy when we see these things take place.”

However, the opposition’s attack did not stop there.

Mr Morrison was asked why he had not asked his staff whether they had sought to undermine Ms Higgins’ loved ones – following reports of a smear – and why he still had a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

The Prime Minister dismissed the question.

But went on to show he was also prepared to get his hands dirty – when asked about embattled Attorney-General Christian Porter – later dredging up historical rape allegations involving former Labor leader Bill Shorten.

Mr Shorten denied the allegations and police concluded there was no case to answer.

“It’s a matter of consistency. As the member for Maribyrnong rightly said at the time … the police had completed their work, they’ve made their decisions and now I think it is appropriate to draw a line under the matter,” Mr Morrison said.

The move, which Mr Morrison relied on repeatedly as he responded to opposition grilling, was followed by outbursts from MPs on the both sides of the house.

Mr Shorten sat quietly on a bench at the top of the horseshoe, and when his eyes were not staring at the ceiling as he waited for the Prime Minister to finish, his head lolled from side to side.

Mr Morrison went on to accuse Labor of double standards, saying concerns had also been raised about the conduct of members in its party.

“When they stand in glass houses, they should not be throwing these types of stones,” Mr Morrison said.

He also revealed that Mr Porter – when he returns from medical leave next month – would not perform certain functions of his office relating to the Federal Court or the ABC in order to avoid any conflicts of interest that may arise.

The move follows Mr Porter launching a defamation case against the public broadcaster and its journalist Louise Milligan over a story about a historical rape allegation involving a serving cabinet minister.

Mr Porter, who almost a week later outed himself as the minister at the centre of the allegations, denies the claims, with his lawyers arguing he was subjected to “trial by media”.



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Christian Porter to return this month, details of his defamation suit against Louise Milligan & ABC emerge


Christian Porter has accused ABC journalist Louise Milligan of engaging in a campaign to oust him as Attorney-General, according documents outlining his defamation suit.

Details of Mr Porter’s defamation proceedings against the ABC and Milligan, over a February article outlining details of an historical rape allegation, have emerged in his statement of claims.

The article revealed a “senior cabinet minister”, since revealed to be Mr Porter, had been accused of raping a 16-year-old in Sydney in 1988, which he categorically denied.

His office has announced he will return to work on March 31, after taking a period of mental health leave.

Mr Porter said an article published by Milligan on February 26, revealing the Prime Minister had received a document outlining the allegations, was part of a “campaign” to oust him from his role.

RELATED: Joyce breaks ranks, calls for independent Porter probe

NSW Police could not investigate the matter after the alleged victim took her own life last year, a day after telling them she no longer wanted to pursue it.

“The ABC and Milligan knew that the allegations could never be proved in any criminal or civil proceeding and despite that published the article to harm Porter and to ensure that he was publicly condemned and disgraced in the absence of any finding against him,” the complaint alleged.

An ABC spokesman confirmed the broadcaster would defend the action.

Under defamation laws, the broadcaster has available to it a number of potential defences, including truth, in which it would have to prove the allegation was true on the balance of probabilities.

Mr Porter said he would be prepared to testify under oath.

Four Corners aired an episode in November 2020 in which it accused Mr Porter of inappropriate sexual conduct. The 2020 broadcast did not include the rape allegation.

Mr Porter’s complaint said that by publishing the February article, which referred only to a “senior cabinet member”, Milligan and the ABC confected a scenario in which he would be “obliged” to out himself.

Mr Porter was widely named on social media, and the complaint claimed he was easily identifiable as one of just three male cabinet ministers of a similar age to the alleged victim.

After the Attorney-General outed himself, Four Corners aired a follow-up program outlining the allegation in detail.

“The ABC and Milligan were frustrated that they were unable to broadcast the allegations in the November Four Corners as they intended (because they were indefensible) and thus disingenuously published the article without naming Porter, in order to give effect to their intention to harm,” the complaint said.

It also accused Milligan of failing to disclose her “close friendship” with friends of the alleged victim.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has consistently refused to launch an independent inquiry into the allegation, claiming it would undermine the rule of law.

But Labor leader Anthony Albanese demanded he do so during a fiery parliamentary question time on Monday.

It comes after James Hooke, a former boyfriend of the alleged victim, revealed he had had what he considered “relevant discussions” with her about the alleged incident since mid-1988.

“These are all issues that require examination. The idea, as the Prime Minister has said, that we can just move on, that what has been happening over recent days and weeks can be unseen and unheard, is just not fair dinkum,” Mr Albanese said.

Mr Hooke said he also had “clear recollections of relevant discussions I had with Christian Porter” from 1992 to the mid-1990s.

Mr Porter claimed he had only been aware of a “whispering campaign … over the last few months”.



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Christian Porter accuser’s family begs media not to identify daughter


The family of the Adelaide woman who accused Attorney-General Christian Porter of a historical rape has pleaded with the media not to identify their “beloved” daughter amid fresh claims she told a friend and a counsellor of her alleged ordeal years ago.

The champion debater’s family has revealed they understand that friends and family wanted to say her name, but asked that the media refrain from identifying her or using her image.

“The family appreciates that those who knew their beloved daughter will refer to her by name in private,’’ the family said.

“However, in relation to media organisations they request that their deceased daughter not be referred to by name and that there be no images or recordings published from which she might reasonably be identified.

“The media attention over this last week has intensified the grief that they are already enduring.

“They again request that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.”

The plea for privacy came amid explosive new claims on the ABC’s Four Corners that the woman first told a counsellor about the allegations years ago.

The woman’s ex-husband has also told news.com.au that he has postcards confirming she travelled to Perth in 1994, the same date she claims she caught up with Mr Porter.

The Attorney-General has claimed he knew her for the “briefest” of periods in 1988, but the woman claimed they were in contact over 1986 to 1988 in debating circles and met in Perth in 1994. Mr Porter’s spokesperson has stated it is “not impossible” that the 1994 meeting occurred but he does not recall this.

Four Corners revealed on Monday that the woman first sought help from the counsellor in about 2013 and saw her six times.

The counsellor told Four Corners the woman spoke of a boy called Christian who she had been debating with. The account is at odds with claims raised in Crikey that her allegations are recently “recovered memories” — a theory her friends reject.

The counsellor said the woman was “extremely articulate”, “not delusional”, and volunteered the allegation of her own volition — blowing open the idea, which was reported over the weekend, that she somehow “recovered” her memory of the attack by visiting a controversial Sydney psychologist.

“She told me she had always remembered it,” the counsellor said.

RELATED: PM backs inquest into alleged Porter rape

RELATED: Two major questions in Porter claims

The woman made a report to the police in 2019, however she withdrew her complaint just 24 hours before dying by suicide in Adelaide in June 2020 citing mental health concerns. NSW Police have since confirmed that the case is closed.

Amid pressure for an independent inquiry into the allegation, the NSW police force’s commissioner Mick Fuller said today that the case would have struggled to get to court.

“It is not impossible but almost impossible to proceed with a matter like this without the (alleged) victim,” Mr Fuller told 2GB radio.

“The matter itself, even with the (alleged) victim, probably would’ve struggled to get before a court. These are challenging matters, particularly when they’re historic.”

Mr Porter last week addressed the media to strenuously deny all allegations against him, saying “it just didn’t happen”.

“I was 17 years old and the other person was 16. We were both selected, with two others, on the Australian Schools Debating Team and we went to Sydney University for an international competition. It was a long time ago and I’d always remembered it as a happy time,” Mr Porter told reporters last week.

“But I can say categorically that what has been put in various forms and allegations simply did not happen.”

The psychiatric history of the Adelaide woman, including previous suicide attempts, and two factual errors in her statement have prompted speculation that she may have used repressed memory theory to access her trauma.

The South Australian Coroner is yet to decide whether to conduct a formal inquiry into the woman’s death.

During last night’s Four Corners, reporter Louise Milligan revealed that the ABC was aware of the rape allegation when they put to air last year’s report “Inside the Canberra Bubble” but were unable to report the claims for legal reasons.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had revealed in the original documentary that he had questioned Mr Porter about his conduct in Canberra bars.

“I had a meeting with Porter in my office and I told him that I had had reports of him being out in public, having had too much to drink, and in the company with young women,’’ Mr Turnbull said.

RELATED: Photo of alleged teen victim with minister

“And he didn’t argue with that. And I just said, ‘Look, this is unacceptable conduct for a Cabinet Minister, and it exposes you to the risk of compromise.’”

Mr Porter, who is now a single man and is separated from his second wife, has vehemently denied reports that he kissed a Liberal staffer in a bar in the night in question.

However, he has conceded he regretted some of the things he wrote in university law journals that were raised by the original Four Corners report, including his “joke” that female lawyers were “well-dressed prostitutes” and that a debating opponent’s case had “more holes than Snow White’s hymen.”

Regardless of those remarks, Mr Porter said the allegations of rape were completely untrue and utterly devastating.

“If I stand down from my position as Attorney-General because of an allegation about something that simply did not happen, then any person in Australia can lose their career, their job, their life’s work, then any person in Australia their job, their life’s work, based on nothing more than an accusation that appears in print. My guess is that if I were to resign and that set a new standard, well, there wouldn’t be much need for an Attorney-General anyway, because there would be no rule of law left to protect in this country.”

One of the members of the debating team, Matthew Deeble, told Four Corners that he remembers the woman going out after dinner but that he didn’t know what happened after that.

“I attended the dinner, but I was leaving to go back to Melbourne reasonably early the next day, and so I attended the dinner and then headed back to the dormitory rooms where we were billeted during the event, and (the woman) and others continued on out that night. where we were billeted during the event, and Kate and others continued on out that night,’’ he said.



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Claims Liberal raped woman when she was 16 before her suicide


The allegation that a serving Liberal allegedly raped a teenager in the 1980s is a shocking claim that is now impossible for police to investigate.

The woman is dead. The allegations centre around events that happened more than 30 years ago, before the Liberal entered politics.

Exactly one year ago, NSW Police established Strike Force Wyndarra to investigate the claims. She met with detectives from the NSW Police Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad in February 2020 to reveal that she had been raped by the man.

But those investigations were suspended after she took her own life in June, 2020.

It is a wicked problem for the Prime Minister because it is highly unlikely that the police can properly investigate. The key witness for the prosecution is dead. Finance Minister Simon Birmingham has called for the police to be able to do their job. But they can’t. The idea that police can resolve this matter — or anyone can — is a false hope.

RELATED: Warning to PM in rape claim letter

RELATED: Labor MP accused of rape in email

But her friends were not prepared to let the dead woman’s claims die with her. That’s why her supporters including lawyers and business leaders took up her case after her death, insisting on a coronial inquiry and writing to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison detailing historical rape allegations.

In the years leading up to her death she also contacted former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Penny Wong and senior female figures in the Liberal Party.

The revelations have also been shocking for me personally, because I only learned the identity of the woman from friends on Friday night after the ABC’s Louise Milligan first published the story.

The complainant was a woman I attended school with in Adelaide, and later university, during the period she said she was raped in 1988 as a 16-year-old, which she said occurred interstate.

Over the weekend, I was shocked to discover that more than half a dozen of these friends had heard these allegations directly from her in recent years.

She seemed to be building to some sort of crescendo in those final years, making contact with people who knew her at the time of the alleged rape and disclosing to them what she said happened. She engaged lawyers. She also spoke to the police.

However, I want to be very clear that I don’t recall her ever mentioning the allegation to me at the time and I imagine it would certainly be something I would remember.

As a result, I cannot offer an informed opinion on what did or did not occur at the time.

My memories are purely of her, what I remember about her character and the sort of person she was. It’s important to those that knew her that she is also remembered for these things.

She was a very serious person, smart, acerbic, self possessed and quite brilliant. I remember she was also very kind. She spoke several languages

As a teenager, she was in the year above me at school, very academically gifted and the sort of person who won academic prizes and held leadership positions.

She also kept diaries as a teenager and some friends say parts of these accounts were written in French, to avoid being easily understood if anyone found them.

My closest friends remain those I met at Adelaide University in the early 1990s. Many old friends have correspondence from her about the allegations. One man who corresponded with her is someone I lived with in a share house a few years later. I have seen this correspondence, text messages and emails.

I have also listened to a 45-minute recording of her discussing the allegations and her contact with NSW police.

This is a record of great difficulty however, because I do not believe she was aware she was being recorded by the person who she confided in.

She had discussed going to the media and how that might work.

I learned of her death last year, some months after the event, through a mutual friend when we did a 35km charity walk together.

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It was quite shocking to me to learn of her suicide that day, in the way it is when people you first knew as teenager pass away. I understand she made several attempts before the final attempt.

I now know that person who told me she had died that day was also aware of the allegations she had made.

Many friends of mine from that time became lawyers and some were trying to help her navigate the legal system and how to engage with police in the lead up to her death.

Perhaps most disturbingly, I learned that she had a photograph of herself with the man she said raped her and in the months leading up to her death she replicated the hair cut in that photograph.

Her decision to return to the distinctive hair cut nearly 30 years later was naturally very disturbing to those around her.

It was sad to hear of these troubles because she was one of most academically brilliant of all the people I went to university with, a group that included Penny Wong and various other people who went on to great success and even national prominence.

But her life never worked out like that.

After her death, some friends confided they had wondered why she didn’t fulfil that early promise and about the difficulties she had clearly experienced.

I don’t have any answers on why things worked out that way for her, but like any inquisitive person, I do wonder about the reasons.



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