CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses rape.

The ABC have now responded to comments Christian Porter made earlier today, where he claimed the ABC “regretted” publishing an article outing him as the subject of a historical rape allegation.

On Monday, former attorney-general Christian Porter decided to drop his defamation case against ABC and Four Corners journalist Louise Milligan. However, while speaking at a press conference today Porter tried to spin his withdrawal from the case as a victory.

He also referenced an editor’s note added to the original article, which states that the ABC did not intend to suggest Porter had committed the alleged historical rape, and that the misinterpretation was “regretted.”

“I never thought they would say they regret the outcome of the article,” Porter told reporters on Monday.

The ABC have now issued a statement in response, defending the editor’s note and the integrity of the original report itself.

“The ABC has not said that it regrets the article. As we have stated, the ABC stands by the importance of the article, which reported on matters of significant public interest,” the statement read.

“The ABC has never and still does not accept that the article suggested guilt on the part of Mr Porter. The ABC did not plead a truth defence to the guilt’ meaning that Mr Porter alleged in his statement of claim.

“The article was not ‘sensationalist’. It was an accurate and factual report on a letter that had been sent to the Prime Minister and two other senior politicians.”

During the press conference, Porter accused Four Corners EP Sally Neighbour of lying when she tweeted “no money was paid” by the ABC for the defamation case. The ABC rejected this and stated Neighbour meant “no money was paid to Mr Porter” and wasn’t factoring in the mediation costs paid by the broadcaster.

Porter also claimed Louise Milligan “coached” Jo Dyer into destroying important communications. The ABC rejected these accusations too.

You can read the full statement here. 


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Image: Getty Images / Sam Mooy