Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has won a defamation case against former senator David Leyonhjelm after he made comments suggesting she was a misandrist and a hypocrite.
Senator Hanson-Young previously told the court she felt bullied and intimidated when the comments were made in the Senate chamber, and again during media interviews in June and July of 2018.
She also said Mr Leyonhjelm repeatedly, falsely claimed she had said all men were rapists during a debate about self-defence.
Mr Leyonhjelm said Ms Hanson-Young interjected during the debate and used words to the effect of “all men are rapists”, which prompted him to fire back and make the comments.
Justice Richard White on Monday ordered Mr Leyonhjelm to pay $120,000 in damages.
When men do the wrong thing, they should apologise. Most men do. But when they don’t they should be called out.
It’s for every woman & girl who’s been told or made to stay silent in the face of harassment and disrespect that I took legal action. Today’s ruling is a win for them
— Sarah Hanson-Young💚 (@sarahinthesen8) November 25, 2019
The matter will return to court in December to discuss who will pay the legal costs.
In November last year, Mr Leyonhjelm lost a bid to have the defamation case against him thrown out.
He quit the Senate in February.
During the trial, Senator Hanson-Young’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou told the court Mr Leyonhjelm had concocted her client’s alleged statement.
Mr Leyonhjelm denied that, but also admitted he could not remember the exact words Senator Hanson-Young had used and that he left it out of his affidavit because he could not be “categorical in his certainty”.
The former senator conceded his discussions with colleagues after the Senate interaction may have influenced his memory of the words used.
Senator Hanson-Young told the court she felt she was bullied and “set upon”.
“I felt I was being punished for standing up for myself,” she said.