‘Tepid whinge’: Leyonhjelm fires back
LIBERAL Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm has accused Sarah Hanson-Young of a "tepid whinge" after she filed a defamation suit against him alleging attacks on her private life.
Senator Hanson-Young has filed the action in the Federal Court against Senator Leyonhjelm over comments he made on Sky News and 3AW radio in Melbourne.
"The defamatory statements Senator Leyonhjelm made and continues to make are an attack on my character, and have done considerable harm to me and my family," the Australian Greens senator said in a statement on Thursday. Senator Hanson-Young said she was taking action because such treatment was wrong.
"No woman, whether she be working behind a bar, in an office or in the Parliament, deserves to be treated this way, and it needs to stop," she said. "It was always my preference that Senator Leyonhjelm apologise and acknowledge how hurtful, defamatory and damaging his comments were, however he refuses to do so." Senator Leyonhjelm revealed in a statement on Thursday night he'd engaged Senior Counsel to "strenuously" defend the claim.
He labelled the lawsuit a "whinge", and called into question Senator Hanson- Young's crowdfunding of her legal fees.
"She and her supporters have to date raised more than $60,000, pledging to use the funds to advance the cause of the sisterhood by fighting intimidation, bullying and 'sexist slurs on my professional reputation' through court action," he said.
"Yet the Statement of Claim I received (on Wednesday) contains no such allegations. Instead it is a tepid whinge that I have insinuated she is a hypocrite and a misandrist." Senator Leyonhjelm told Senator Hanson-Young on the floor of parliament to "stop shagging men" after he believed she said all men are rapists. He then later went on television and radio to make further comments about her private life.
Senator Hanson-Young has said if she wins damages from Senator Leyonhjelm she will donate them to Plan International and the Working Women's Centre SA.