Kimberley Kitching’s husband says he has moved on and learned to forgive from the ‘mean girl’ saga that plagued the Labor senator’s sudden death last year.
Ms Kitching was just 52 when she died of a suspected heart attack in March 2022, prompting heartfelt tributes from all sides of politics.
Allegations arose from people close to the late senator that she had been poorly treated by her Labor colleagues during her time in parliament, and may have contributed to her death.
Ms Kitching’s husband, Andrew Landeryou, addressed the alleged mistreatment in a eulogy at her funeral when he referred to “the nastyness of a cantankerous clique” both inside and outside Parliament and that his wife “deserved so much better”.
Labor Senators Kristina Keneally, Penny Wong and Katy Gallagher were branded the “bad girls” who allegedly harassed Ms Kitching, forcing the trio to refute the claims in a joint statement.
Nearly 18 months later, Landeryou broke her silence on the saga with a carefully considered response when asked if she had learned to forgive.
Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching was just 52 when she died of a suspected heart attack.
“I know this is not an answer, but I think it’s very important that I forgive,” he told Sky News presenter Andrew Bolt on Thursday night.
“I have to deal with it, and I work hard at it and I work to focus on good, positive things.”
“The most important thing I can do to honor Kimberley’s legacy and her memory is to perform with the class that she performed with, which is not necessarily my first instinct, unfortunately.”
Following the funeral, Mr. Landeryou traveled to Canberra to hear condolence speeches in Parliament, where he was moved by Senator Gallagher’s heartfelt words.
“Katy Gallagher got up and spoke beautifully and said that she had a chance to reflect very deeply on her relationship with Kimberley,” he said.
“I sat there, listened to those words and realized that it was probably the closest thing to an apology that a public official in that situation could do, and I really respected that, it resonated with me and helped me.” a bit to not move on, but rather to act, to try to act in a way that is consistent with Kimberley’s values.’
Labor Senators Katy Gallagher, Kristina Keneally and Penny Wong were branded ‘bad girls’ after Kimberley Kitching’s death.
Mr. Landeryou also shared candid details about how he is coping more than a year after his wife’s death, admitting that it is often confrontational.
‘I’m fine. Day by day, I present myself professionally and do what I have to do,” she said.
“But sometimes I feel like the mayor of Hiroshima, so obviously very confrontational on so many levels, not just the day-to-day practicality, and the… kind of emptiness of all of that.”
“But also, obviously I have to deal with how I can feel irrationally about it, which is that I should have done a better job of protecting her.”
At her funeral, Landeryou praised his wife’s political and moral judgment as “far superior to the small number who opposed her internally.”
“There’s a lot I could say about how ugly a curmudgeonly cabal, not everyone in parliament, was targeting Kimba, and she was stunned and hurt by the intensity of it,” he told mourners.
He deserved much, much better.
Mr. Landeryou says he tries to honor his wife’s legacy by acting the graceful way she did. Pictured is the late Senator Kimberley Kitching.
He described his wife’s death as “absurd and unfair” and that he would “gladly trade places with her”.
“I’m not going to blame any person or meeting,” he said.
“Her friends and fiercely loyal staff are angry at how she was treated. Of course they are.
And I have nothing against them for that. They know what they saw with their own eyes.
Nearly 18 months later, Landeryou stands by his laudatory comments that his wife deserved so much better.
“I hope it’s enough to say that he deserved much better,” he said.
“She was so bright and erudite and tough, but sensitive at the same time. I don’t think they’ve ever had a better person.
“Kimberley was a warrior who could stand up for herself, and she did, very emphatically.”
Andrew Landeryou delivered a powerful eulogy at his wife’s funeral in 2022 when he referred to “the nastyness of a curmudgeonly cabal” both inside and outside parliament.