SOPHIE’S PAIN

Jury hears former MP’s account of effects from article push allegations
WEB Sophie Mirabella 01 Wk17 pe c5 20180429
CIVIL CASE: Sophie and Greg Mirabella at the Wangaratta Courthouse last week. PHOTO: Emma Hillier

FORMER Indi MP Sophie Mirabella has described allegations made in the Benalla Ensign as “taking on a life of its own”.

Ms Mirabella gave evidence during a defamation hearing against Benalla Newspapers and Libby Price at Wangaratta County Court on Friday.

She tearfully described the prolonged damage the article, which alleged she publically pushed political opponent Cathy McGowan to prevent her from having a picture taken with Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt.

The plaintiff told jurors the continued “dogged upholding” by the defendant and consequent media publications of the false accusation caused people to make negative comments about her both online via social media and in person, including in front of her two young daughters.

Ms Mirabella said the widespread reach of the false accusations chiefly concerned her as a parent, as she worried about what it might cause her children or the parents of her children’s friends to think.

She said the impression that suggested she was a physical person was devastating to her as a self-described passionate advocate for women’s rights and against violence.


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