Labor MP To Sue Buzzfeed For “Slut-Shaming”

Labor MP To Sue Buzzfeed For “Slut-Shaming”
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Labor MP Emma Husar is launching a defamation case against Buzzfeed citing the publisher “slut-shamed” her in an online article.

Husar, who is the member for the Sydney seat of Lindsey, claimed the article had damaged her career and was the reason she would not be re-contesting her seat in the next election.

The article in question, titled ‘Labor MP Emma Husar is accused of sexual harassment and diverting thousands of dollars into her personal bank account’, was published in August and accuses Husar of performing “the revealing leg-crossing move made famous by Sharon Stone in the film Basic Instinct in front of a Labor frontbencher”.

Speaking after question time on Thursday, Husar said in response to the piece she is “not a bully, I am not Sharon Stone, I am not a thief, and I did not deliberately misuse my work expenses”.

Husar added, “I will fight for my integrity, for my family, and for Lindsay, which is full of battlers just like me and fight for every woman who comes after me.

“I’m going to do my bit, Mr Speaker, to ensure that this never happens again”.

In the article, Buzzfeed claims lawyer John Joseph Whelan – who is working on behalf of NSW Labor – wrote a letter to Husar addressing the ‘leg-crossing move’.

Whelan wrote: “It is alleged that you and [redacted] attended Mr Jason Clare’s office at Parliament.

“Mr Clare was sitting on the floor playing with his son. [Redacted] alleged that he was sitting opposite you and that on three occasions you spread your legs, revealing that you were not wearing any underwear.

“[Redacted] felt that your conduct was deliberate, proactive and targeted towards Mr Clare.” 

According to Husar, Buzzfeed knew she was “bound by confidentiality under the Whelan process I was being examined by, but they went ahead and they published their slut-shaming story knowing, with full intent, that it would go viral”.

“Let me correct the record. They didn’t give me any notice in advance.

“They didn’t give me the opportunity to seek release from my confidentiality obligations so that I could respond,” she told the chamber.

“They didn’t give me the opportunity to use our legal system to preserve the confidential process until it had properly played out.

“During the last six months, I’ve had to bite my tongue and not defend myself publicly whilst being misrepresented,” she added.

“I will not wait around for someone else to wait around and show leadership.

“Sunlight is always the best disinfectant and, today, I bathe those misrepresentations in a flood of light.”

Now, Buzzfeed has released a response to Husar’s comments.

In a statement sent to B&T, a Buzzfeed spokesperson said: “We’re aware that proceedings have been issued.

“We’re considering our position with our lawyers and will respond in due course.”

 

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