Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has retracted a comment calling former staffer Brittany Higgins a “lying cow” after settling a defamation case over the remark.
Senator Reynolds is alleged to have made the comment after Ms Higgins came forward alleging she was raped by a colleague in the Minster’s office at Parliament House in Canberra two years ago.
“Given that the comment was made public, which I never intended, I also want to retract it and unreservedly apologise to Brittany Higgins and acknowledge the hurt and distress it caused to her,” Reynolds said in a statement.
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“I did not mean it in the sense it may have been understood.”
According to The Australian, Minister Reynolds will also pay damages to Ms Higgins as part of the agreement.
The 27-year-old released a statement a short time ago, confirming she will donate the money to a sexual assault charity in Canberra.
“This has been an immensely challenging period for me and I wish to reiterate that the only reason I have chosen to come forward is to help others,” Ms Higgins said.
“Finally, any monies I have received from the Minister as part of the settlement of my claim against her (over and above my legal costs) will be paid in full to an organisation that provides counselling and support to survivors of sexual assault and abuse in the Canberra area.
“These funds will assist them in this important work.”
— Linda Reynolds (@lindareynoldswa) March 12, 2021