Brittany Higgins’ partner David Sharaz has spoken out on the conduct of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in regards to Ms Higgins’ alleged Parliament House rape.
As the fallout from Ms Higgins’ alleged assault continues, Mr Sharaz, a former press gallery journalist, again confirmed that Scott Morrison’s office were backgrounding against him in response to a tweet from Network Ten political editor Peter van Onselen.
Last Thursday, Van Onselen told the ABC that staffers in the PMO had engaged in a “grubby” campaign against Ms Higgins’ partner.
“The Prime Minister’s Office has been backgrounding that her now partner has a vendetta, or a gripe might be the better way to put it, against the government because of him being a former public servant,” he said.
“That might not technically be victim blaming, but I tell you what, it is grubby.”
When Finance Minister Simon Birmingham was grilled on the topic in the Senate, he said he had “no awareness of any such activity being undertaken”.
“I will take those matters up with the Prime Minister. I am certain that he has no tolerance for such activities,” Mr Birmingham said.
But Mr Sharaz tweeted that he “know(s) for a FACT PMO were backgrounding”.
“I don’t care about me,” Mr Sharaz added. “But Britt cares about me, and it hurt her. Victim blaming at its worst. Go after her strongest support person.”
It’s not the first time Mr Sharaz has referenced the backgrounding, previously tweeting, “Let’s take a moment to praise the strong women backing Brittany Higgins.”
“Thanks to those journalists who wouldn’t put up with the Prime Minister’s office publicly supporting her while privately backgrounding to hurt her loved ones.”
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Ms Higgins, who alleges she was raped by a fellow Liberal staffer in Defence Minister Linda Reynolds’s office after work drinks in March 2019, told The Guardianlast week the behaviour from the PMO was “gross”.
“I knew personally that when I decided to put my name and face to this there would be repercussions for me,” she said.
“But I think it’s unfair if they are starting to try and take this out on loved ones.
“I think it speaks to the systematic problems of this place.
“It silences people and I think it’s gross.”
Mr Sharaz said he had “no regrets” for standing by Ms Higgins and supporting her fight for justice.
“I have absolutely no regrets in choosing to support my partner and I will continue to do so,” he told news.com.au earlier this week.
“The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. Being supportive is the least that I — or any other partner of a victim-survivor can do.
“Brittany — and many others — deserve better.”