A senator subjected to what she describes as attacks about her private life from another senator on live TV and radio has filed a defamation lawsuit.
Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has filed the action in the Federal Court against Liberal Democrats senator David 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,” Senator Hanson-Young 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.”
The Greens senator has said if she wins damages from Senator Leyonhjelm she will donate them to Plan International and the Working Women’s Centre SA.
Both senators have turned to crowd-funding to raise money for their respective legal costs.
The issues arose after Senator Leyonhjelm told Senator Hanson-Young on the floor of parliament to “stop shagging men”, and later went on television and radio to make further comments about her private life.