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Linda Reynolds faces defamation lawsuit for “lying cow” comment

Linda Reynolds faces defamation lawsuit for “lying cow” comment

Lawyers for Brittany Higgins have revealed they’ve served letters threatening to sue Linda Reynolds for defamation after she called Higgins a “lying cow.”

The Defence Minister reportedly made the slur against Higgins on February 15 after she alleged that she was sexually assaulted in the minister’s office in March 2019.

Higgins’ lawyers reportedly intend to sue Reynolds for “hurt and distress” caused by “malicious remarks”, unless the minister goes forward with a full public apology.

Lawyers for Higgins accuse the Senator of making a “demeaning and belittling” statement that was “highly defamatory”.

“The cavalier manner in which those words were spoken make it plain that they were not spoken privately or in confidence,” the letter has stated.

“You are also aware that this distasteful character assassination of our client has been republished widely, causing her immense hurt and distress.

“Our client is appalled that an apology has not been extended to her.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday that Reynolds “deeply regretted” making the remarks.

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He said she had let the comment pass I her private office to staff members after “a stressful week”.

“That doesn’t excuse it, not for a second,” he said.

“And she made the appropriate apologies to her staff and rectified that.”

Morrison said the comment came after articles stated that Higgins didn’t feel supported by the government following her alleged rape.

“She was not making those comments, as she said to me this morning, in relation to the allegation of sexual assault,” he said.

“Her comments, she said to me, related to the further commentary about levels of support provided and her frustrations about how she felt that they were doing everything they believed in their power to provide support.

“Clearly, over a period of time, there was a very different view about that.”

Senator Jacqui Lambie said on Thursday that Reynolds’ career was “done.”

“She will have to come out and she’ll either have to defend herself or say whether or not she made those comments,” Lambie said to Sky News.

“If she did, she’ll have to resign at the same time.

“I think Reynolds is gone.

“If she’s not coming out and denying that and now she’s trying to smooth it over … her career is done.”

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.