Federal MP Andrew Laming, who is one of the biggest grubs in parliament, has settled his defamation lawsuit against ABC journalist Louise Milligan for $79,000 plus costs which will be paid by the ABC. For Laming to be sticking his snout into the taxpayer’s trough again is scandalous but Louise Milligan also has issues regarding her use of Twitter which I have written about in the last 2 articles.
It is interesting that Andrew Laming has not sued, or even threatened to sue, any of the numerous women who have made very serious allegations against him. He has only gone after the journalists with frivolous and vexatious threats and he struck it lucky with the ABC who implied they settled to save costs.
Andrew Laming’s frivolous defamation case
The SMH reported (11/8/21) that Laming will also sue Channel Nine over the same issue:
The federal Liberal MP launched Federal Court proceedings against Milligan in June over a series of four since-deleted tweets published on March 28 this year, including a tweet suggesting he had “admitted to an offence under the criminal code … ie taking a photo of a woman’s underwear under her skirt”.
Dr Laming, who will quit politics at the next election after allegations emerged that he harassed two women online, took action over the tweets after Queensland police in April cleared him of any criminal offence over a photo he took of Brisbane woman Crystal White while she stocked a fridge at a landscaping business in 2019.
Ms White, who was wearing shorts at the time, has previously told Nine News Queensland the photograph was “really inappropriate” and she was bending over when Dr Laming took it.
He has disputed this, claiming the photo was “completely dignified” and showed her in a kneeling position. It was a “humorous situation” where she was attempting to get “every possible can” of drink into a fridge “like a game of Tetris”, he said.
Dr Laming is expected to launch proceedings against Nine, the publisher of this masthead, over the initial broadcast. (Click here to read more)
It would be good if Channel 9 defended the defamation claim if Laming does launch one against them so all the facts can be made public.
Andrew Laming’s lawsuit against Louise Milligan seems to have been based on the fact that he had not upskirted, which is taking a picture up a female’s skirt, as some media had reported but had only photographed a female bending over with her underwear showing. And given there was no proof of upskirting it was almost certain the ABC would lose the defamation case, so they settled.
It is hardly something for Laming to be proud of and just the same as Christian Porter will forever be known as an alleged rapist there is nothing defamatory about referring to Andrew Laming as an “alleged sexual predator” given taking a picture of a women bending over with her underwear showing is something a sexual predator would do.
Andrew Laming also confessed to abusing 2 women on Facebook and apologised in parliament so calling Laming a “confessed online stalker” is fine as well. If Laming wants to dispute the title of this article there is plenty of material on websites of other “news publishers” to support it such as below:
The New Daily: Coalition MP defends upskirting picture as ‘dignified’ which starts off:
Controversial Queensland MP Andrew Laming has dug in on accusations he took an upskirting photo, claiming the picture was “dignified”. Dr Laming will not contest the next federal election but will remain in the Coalition party room until then, despite admitting to bullying, stalking and harassing several women.
ABC pay for Louise Milligan’s defamation case
Louise Milligan has been in the wars lately with defamation cases but that is the reality of investigative journalism in Australia and at least she has the ABC paying her costs while at the same time she collected a wage from the ABC. I have also been in the wars with Kerry Stokes’ numerous defamation cases since 2016 and no one pays my costs or pays me a wage so I have no sympathy for Milligan or other journalists in the same position.
Some people have been commenting that the ABC should not have paid Milligan’s legal costs in the Laming matter, but I disagree. Laming sued Milligan because she was an easy target as an ABC employee and on that basis the ABC should be paying but not in the future as all ABC employees were put on notice on Monday when “ABC boss David Anderson sent an email to all staff on Monday (9/8/21) threatening to sack staff who breached the ABC’s new social media guidelines”. (Click here to read more)
I should declare that in my last 2 articles I have had a go at Louise Milligan for promoting on Twitter the lie that a person could be charged with contempt of court or undermine the court case by naming alleged parliament house rapist Bruce Lehrmann who has been summoned by the police to face rape charges. (Click here and here to read the articles) I believe I always report without fear of favour and the 2 previous articles haven’t influenced what I have said in this article.
It must also be noted that there seems to be some confusion around exactly why Laming sued Milligan with The New Daily reporting:
The ABC said resolving the claim avoided a potentially protracted and costly legal action. Milligan’s original posts were made “in good faith” but one contained an honest error that had been widely reported by other outlets and politicians, it said. Her deletion of the tweets in June was followed by a “substantial statement correcting the record”.
But The News Daily goes on to say:
Milligan tweeted in March that Dr Laming was one of the names “volunteered to me in off the record conversation with women staffers & politicians” when she was researching for Inside the Canberra Bubble – a November 2020 Four Corners episode purported to unveil the culture towards women in Parliament House.
A tweet on April 15 listed “Laming upskirts” along with references to Brittany Higgins, Christine Holgate and a dance troupe that twerked at a navy event. Milligan deleted the tweets in June and posted a statement explaining she hadn’t included Dr Laming’s denials in a “broader Twitter discussion about gender and politics”. (Click here to read more)
Unless Louise Milligan has people who are prepared to go on the record in relation to “Dr Laming was one of the names “volunteered to me in off the record conversation with women staffers & politicians” when she was researching for Inside the Canberra Bubble ” she should not have Tweeted it as she would not be able to back it up in court.
Whatever the case Louise Milligan should be grateful the ABC paid this time because from what the ABC boss David Anderson said in his email to staff on Monday the ABC won’t be paying in the future. And given the ABC boss would have to sign off paying for Milligan’s $79,000 settlement with Laming one has to suspect that ABC boss David Anderson knew about the Laming settlement when he sent the email to staff on Monday.
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Categories: Andrew Laming