A news outlet published by comedy group The Chaser has been forced to apologise for suggesting an Australian politician, Federal Liberal pollie Andrew Laming, took an ‘upskirting’ picture.
In March this year, Brisbane woman Crystal White accused Laming of taking a photo of her bending over without consent in 2019.
Laming conceded he had taken the photo, but claimed it was: “taken from a distance, showing the worker in a dignified position on both knees.”
Laming was cleared by the Queensland police over the incident, after it was determined there was “no evidence to indicate a criminal offence”.
The Shot, which is run by The Chaser, ran a story referencing the incident in May of this year.
According to The Guardian, Laming has now threatened to sue the website over the claims.
Marque Lawyers took to Twitter this week to suggest Laming had sent defamation concerns.
Andrew Laming has been sending defamation concerns notices to tweeters for making him sad. Apparently he considers that his reputation has been damaged by things people other than him have said and done.
— marquelawyers (@marquelawyers) June 8, 2021
The Shot has also apologised for its reports on the upskirt photos.
“In May 2021, The Shot published an article containing statements suggesting that Andrew Laming MP had taken upskirt photos. The Shot apologises for publishing these statements, which have now been withdrawn,” the statement reads.
“We appreciate the feedback and we’ll strive to be more thorough in our future coverage on the topic of sexual assault. We recognise such topics require a higher level of diligence in reporting and we’d like to apologise to anyone whose experience might have been minimised by this mistake.”
Laming announced earlier this year that he would quit politics, following reports of inappropriate behaviour.
“Starting tomorrow, I will get assistance with courses in empathy and appropriate communication, not just to be a better MP, but to be a deeper and more empathetic person than what the recent events have demonstrated,” Laming said in a statement.
“The common thread of the past week has been not demonstrating anything close to understanding how my actions affect others. I intend to own those mistakes. I will also be obtaining clinical counselling, for a duration decided by others, but I will aim to complete it by the next parliamentary sitting.”