News People Leyonhjelm loses appeal bid, must pay $120,000 for defaming Hanson-Young

Leyonhjelm loses appeal bid, must pay $120,000 for defaming Hanson-Young

leyonhjelm hanson young appeal
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and former Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm. Photo: ABC News
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Former Senator David Leyonhjelm has lost his bid to overturn a ruling that he defamed Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, meaning he will have to pay $120,000 in compensation.

The Federal Court found Mr Leyonhjelm defamed Ms Hanson-Young by suggesting she was a misandrist and a hypocrite in Parliament and in media interviews in 2018.

Ms Hanson-Young was awarded $120,000 in compensation, which she pledged would go to charity.

The court had previously heard that at the conclusion of a Senate vote in June 2018, Mr Leyonhjelm told Senator Hanson-Young that she should “stop shagging men”.

In a subsequent media statement, Mr Leyonhjelm claimed he had made the comment in response to an interjection by Senator Hanson-Young along the lines of “all men are rapists”.

In the original court case, Justice Richard White found Senator Hanson-Young did not speak those words.

“Instead, it is likely that the respondent ‘heard’ that which he was predisposed to hear by reason of his pre-existing opinion of the applicant as someone who made ‘collectivist’ statements,” Justice White said.

“I have also accepted that the respondent was actuated by malice in that he published his claim concerning the applicant to a mass audience with the intention of publicly shaming her.”

The Full Court of the Federal Court dismissed Mr Leyonhjelm’s appeal against the verdict in a judgment handed down on Wednesday morning.