High-profile ABC presenter Annabel Crabb has described Christian Porter as “a strange dude” in messages discussing “justice” for an old school friend who accused the cabinet minister of rape, court documents show.
The texts were released as part of the Federal Court case where Mr Porter’s barrister was barred from representing him in defamation action against the ABC.
The Industry, Science and Technology Minister launched the defamation claim in March after the ABC published a story revealing the existence of the rape allegation.
Mr Porter, who was attorney-general at the time of the publication, denies raping the woman when they were teenagers.
The woman took her own life last year.
A close friend of the woman, Jo Dyer, successfully argued Mr Porter’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou had a conflict of interest.
Ms Chrysanthou had previously briefly advised Ms Dyer on a matter relating to the allegations.
The messages released by the Federal Court on the first anniversary of the death of Mr Porter’s accuser, reveal Crabb was filled with a “boiling sense of rage and grief” when she learned of the allegations and the woman’s death.
Both Crabb and Ms Dyer, who remain friends, knew the woman from their high school debating days.
Crabb said she was “completely poleaxed … even though I hadn’t seen her for so long and didn’t know her all that well to begin with”.
“What a strange dude CP is. And how amazingly arrogant to think you can mistreat people and get away with it for ever.”
Ms Dyer responded, saying it was “devastating” that the woman had been troubled for so long.
“Regardless of whether it’s exclusively or only collaterally because of CP’s entitled arseholedom, it similarly fills me with rage,” she said.
“She deserved such a different life.”
In another exchange, Crabb tells Ms Dyer she believes Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, who also knew the woman, did not know of her allegations.
The messages also reveal Crabb allowed ABC colleague Louise Milligan to film an interview with Ms Dyer about the allegations in her home.
After the interview, Ms Dyer contacted Crabb saying it had been an “intense” experience.
“I bet (our friend) would be extremely moved to know how much you’re all doing to get some justice for her xx,” Crabb responded.
Ms Dyer responded to the release of the documents on Twitter, saying the ABC’s defence to Mr Porter’s defamation case – which was dropped – should be made public, “rather than a few texts between mates”.