Liberal senator criticizes ABC star for controversial speech – as furious TV reporter challenges politician to say it outside parliament
- Senator Sarah Henderson Claimed ABC Journalist’s Speech Was ‘Insensitive’
- Reporter Louise Milligan delivered a speech to the ACT Women Lawyers Association
- Ms Milligan claimed the senator cited media reports that were ‘fictional’
- A letter of complaint reportedly stated that the speech had ‘significant problems’
- The reporter from The Four Corner shared a slew of tweets disagreeing with the claims
An outraged ABC journalist has hit back at allegations made by a Liberal senator in parliament that a speech she gave at a lawyers dinner had “disputed” her network.
Liberal Senator and former ABC operative Sarah Henderson filed a complaint Tuesday against Louise Milligan with Senate Estimates over an Oct. 21 speech the journalist gave to the ACT Women Lawyers Association.
Ms Henderson read the letter, in which Rebecca Curran, president of the ACT Bar Association, reportedly called Ms Milligan’s speech “insensitive and polemical” and left some members “deeply offended and distressed.”
In her speech, Ms Milligan spoke about female complainants in alleged rape cases.
Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson (pictured) accused ABC journalist Louise Milligan of discrediting the network for an “insensitive and polemical” speech that was “deeply offended.”
The journalist from The Four Corner has disputed an op-ed in the Australian newspaper claiming her speech has ‘shamed’ criminal defense lawyers. who defended accused rapists.
Senator Henderson grilled on Tuesday ABC boss David Anderson asked if he agreed with Ms Milligan’s speech.
Mr Anderson replied that he had not read the speech or attended the event, but senior staff, who reviewed the speech, said there was ‘absolutely no problem with what Ms Milligan said that day’.
Ms Henderson then read parts of the letter of complaint stating that Ms Milligan’s controversial speech had ‘significant problems’ and ‘promoted misconceptions’.
‘She [Milligan] showed no understanding for the difficult and vigorous work of lawyers of all genders,” the letter said.
“There were other major problems with Mrs Milligan’s speech.
“She seemed to encourage lawyers to take cases to the media and spread misconceptions about the criminal justice system.”
The Liberal senator went on to allege that Milligan had discredited the ABC, highlighting “deeply concerning remarks” the journalist allegedly made suggesting that “when they make accusations, women should always be believed.”
The ABC boss claimed that the complaint was not sent to the ABC and that Ms. Milligan was not representing the network at the event.
Four Corner’s reporter Louise Milligan (pictured) gave a speech to the ACT Women Lawyers Association in October
The senator referred to media reports that Ms Milligan said are “completely fictitious.” The journalist reprimanded Ms Henderson on Twitter (pictured) and challenged her to repeat the false claims outside parliament
During the fiery parliamentary session, Ms Milligan expressed her frustrations on Twitter, citing Senator Henderson’s claims.
“Senator Henderson just said in parliament that it is completely fictitious. And the opposite of what I said in my speech,” Ms Milligan wrote.
“This is the second time she has told parliament something about me that is completely inaccurate.
“Rebecca Curran of the ACT Bar Association thanked me for my speech and pitched me a story that night.”
Ms Milligan challenged the senator to repeat the allegations that fall outside Parliament’s prerogative – a legal immunity granted to actions or statements by lawmakers.
“I challenge Senator Henderson to repeat these false claims outside Parliament,” Ms Milligan wrote.
Later, Henderson later accused Ms Milligan of being “rogue” in parliament, labeling her tweets as “disgraceful” and “prima facie defamatory.”