BREAKING NEWS: Man at the centre of the Parliament House rape allegation that rocked Australia ‘checks himself into hospital’
- Liberal staffer accused of raping a female media adviser is ‘in hospital’
- The staffer reportedly drove himself to hospital on Wednesday evening
- Daily Telegraph reported he wasn’t suicidal but concerned for his mental state
- Former staffer had been approached by media over Brittany Higgins’ claims
- Higgins’ said unnamed operative had raped her in Defence Minister’s office
- The ex-political operative works for a major multinational company in Sydney
- For confidential crisis support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14
The Liberal staffer accused of raping a female adviser in the Defence Minister’s office at Parliament House has checked himself into hospital.
The staffer – who hasn’t been charged or investigated by police – reportedly left his home on Sydney’s north shore on Wednesday evening to seek psychiatric care.
The Daily Telegraph reported that he was not suicidal, but was concerned with his mental state.
The episode came after multiple media outlets approached the man for a response to the claims of former media adviser Brittany Higgins, who did not name him.
Higgins this week alleged she was sexually assaulted by an unnamed government employee in Senator Linda Reynolds’ office in March 2019.
Brittany Higgins, the former media adviser to Defence Minister Linda Reynolds, this week revealed claims she was raped by a male staffer in Reynolds’ Parliament House office in 2019
Ms Higgins’ alleged assailant left Canberra for Sydney following the incident with Minister Reynolds telling Parliament he was ‘terminated’ because of a ‘security breach’.
During a tearful interview with The Project on Monday, Ms Higgins claimed that her alleged attacker had landed ‘a good job’ in Sydney and ‘just kind of got to keep going.’
Daily Mail Australia understands he now works for a major multinational. The former policy hand also recently deactivated his Twitter account where he used to rail about politics.
Ms Higgins – who was 24 when she was allegedly raped – released a statement late on Wednesday blasting Prime Minister Scott Morrison for what she described as his ‘victim blaming’ rhetoric.
‘I have only been made aware of key elements of my own sexual assault as a result of coming forward publicly with my story,’ Ms Higgins said.
Ms Higgins with Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Late on Wednesday she slammed Mr Morrison for what she described as his ‘victim blaming’ rhetoric
‘I didn’t know that security guards let me into Minister Reynolds’ suite. I didn’t know that a security guards (sic) came into the office multiple times seeing me in a state of undress.
‘I didn’t know they were undertaking an internal review into how the matter was handled at the time. I didn’t know that they debated calling an ambulance at the time of the incident.’
Ms Higgins is reportedly planning to pursue her rape allegation with authorities. She told Network Ten she initially decided not to pursue a police complaint as she felt her job was on the line.
‘I didn’t feel like I had a choice,’ she said.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds (left) told the Senate this week that the staffer had been ‘terminated’ following a ‘security breach’. Until recently Ms Higgins worked for Employment Minister Michaela Cash (together in Parliament’s Great Hall on right)
In October 2019 – when Ms Higgins was working under Employment Minister Michaelia Cash – a media request was made to Ms Reynolds’ office asking for more information about the rape allegations.
As the two politicians’ staffers scrambled to come up with a response to the press inquiry, Senator Cash called Ms Higgins to reassure her the situation was ‘under control’.
‘Brittany, it’s Michaelia. Just checking up on you – you looked absolutely gorgeous on Saturday,’ she said in the 30 second-long message obtained by news.com.au.
‘I really hope you had a lovely time at the Federal Council. Hoping everything is OK.
‘Look, Daniel has got everything under control. I promise you. And just remember. We are with you every step of the way. OK? Sleep tight. I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye.’
Senator Cash has denied knowing about the alleged sexual assault until this year, saying until then all she knew of was an incident happened in Ms Higgins’ previous role that she wanted to keep secret.
‘At the end of January this year, Ms Higgins advised the Minister and COS that the March 2019 matter had become an issue and that she wished to resign and leave Canberra,’ a spokesman for the senator said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has apologised for Ms Higgins’ treatment and has asked his department’s secretary to lead a review of the complaints process.
Mr Morrison has also appointed Liberal backbencher Celia Hammond to review cultural problems around the treatment of women.
‘The government regrets in any way if Ms Higgins felt unsupported through this process,’ a statement published earlier this week said.