Federal Labor MP Terri Butler has apologised to a QUT student involved in high-profile Racial Discrimination Act case who is suing her for defamation for repeating comments thrown out by the court.
According to documents filed last week, Callum Thwaites alleged Ms Butler smeared his reputation by highlighting the alleged racial slur during the ABC’s panel show Q&A on Monday night.
The racial hatred case, which was dismissed by Federal Circuit Court judge Michael Jarrett, included Mr Thwaites being accused of using the “N” word in a Facebook post attributed to his name.
Judge Jarrett accepted that Mr Thwaites did not write the post and it was set up by a third party.
Mr Thwaites is pursuing Ms Butler, the Labor MP for the seat of Griffith, for up to $150,000 in damages and aggravated damages for defamation, interest and costs.
He claimed her comments on the program implied he was a racist and bigot, and dishonest.
Ms Butler issued the apology on Sunday.
“I’m pleased to say I’ve apologised to him today. For me it’s not about him, it’s about the broader issue of whether there should be any watering down of our vilification laws,” she told Sky News on Sunday.