Clive Palmer says he will sue Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Employment Minister Michaelia Cash for defamation over “lies” about his role in the collapse of Queensland Nickel.
The businessman and former federal MP says he is seeking $10 million in damages from the Prime Minister and is also pursuing a defamation case against Senator Cash for besmirching his reputation.
“They’ve lied to people about Queensland Nickel and my role in it. They’ve said things designed to damage me, personally, in the public’s eyes, which were not true and they did that for political reasons,” Mr Palmer told AAP on Tuesday.
Mr Palmer suggests he was solely blamed for the collapse of Queensland Nickel and says as a result he has no friends and employees want nothing to do with him, Queensland’s Courier Mail reported.
He reportedly said he’ll reduce the compensation by $100,000 if Ms Cash apologises.
The Courier Mail reports that he sent Ms Cash a letter last year, which came with an apology that he expected her to sign and have published.
Ms Cash last year said, “We should all be very clear on where responsibility lies for this mess. It lies fairly and squarely with Clive Palmer”.
“Arguing that this is solely the result of falling commodity prices is just not good enough.”
She has reportedly refused to apologise to Mr Palmer.
Mr Palmer claims Ms Cash “victimised” him and that her comments implied he was greedy and didn’t care for the welfare of his employees or “ordinary Australians”.
His lawyers say he now has a “genuine fear of reprisals against him personally, his family and business interests”.
Queensland Nickel collapsed early last year, resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs of the Yabulu Nickel Refinery.
It also owed more than $300 million dollars.
The Federal Court is still hearing evidence around the collapse of Queensland Nickel, including claims Mr Palmer used the company’s money to fund other companies and his Palmer United political party.
– With AAP