Federal Liberal MP Andrew Laming has argued that a Nine News broadcast ruined his reputation when he mistakenly portrayed him as a “horny” person and a “pervert” who took a photo of a woman’s buttocks for sexual gratification.
Laming, 55, who represents Bowman’s seat in Bowman, sued Channel Nine for defamation in federal court in August over a segment of the news bulletin in Queensland at 1 p.m. 18 on March 27 this year.
The story spoke to a woman, Crystal White, who claimed that Dr. Laming took a photo of her bottom on her cell phone as she bent down to fill a refrigerator with beverages at a landscaping company in Brisbane.
Dr. Laming argues that the report disgraced him in several ways, including by suggesting that he took a skewed picture of Mrs White without her knowledge or consent, that he is “insecure” in taking an obscene picture, and that he is ” a pervert “who took a photo” for his own sexual gratification “.
It is alleged that the report also slandered Dr. Laming by suggesting that he was trying to befriend the woman so she would not complain that he was bullying two women online, prompting one to consider suicide, that he should be expelled from the Liberal National Party, and that the public should be warned about him “for their own protection”.
In court documents, Dr. Laming’s lawyers say he “suffered significant harm, distress and embarrassment”, including being the subject of a police investigation that ultimately determined there was no evidence of a criminal act.
It is alleged that the accusations were not made to Dr Laming before the publication and were presented in a “sensational, accusatory and vicious tone”. Dr. Laming is seeking compensation, interest and costs as well as an injunction that nine should be permanently restrained from repeating such claims in the future.
Nine rely on the defense of truth, contextual truth, qualified privileges, and honest opinions.
In his defense filed Thursday, nine argue that it is essentially correct to say that Laming used his cell phone to take a photo of a woman’s bottom while bending over with her bare underwear, and that he is a “creep” that is “unfit to be a member of the Folketing”.