Liberal MP Alan Tudge has been accused of being emotionally and physically abusive towards his former media adviser and partner.
Rachelle Miller and Tudge’s relationship was made public in a segment on ABC’s Four Corners last year, during which Miller alleged Tudge bullied and humiliated her regularly at work. At the time both admitted to an extramarital affair that she said was consensual. But Miller has now said she is speaking out again to tell more of her story and urge the government to adopt all 28 recommendations of the review into parliamentary workplace culture, released on Tuesday.
“I am fully aware that a year ago I said my relationship with Minister Alan Tudge was a consensual relationship, but it’s more complicated than that,” Miller said in a statement.
“I was so ashamed, so humiliated, so scared, so exhausted. I told the small part of my story I was able to manage.
“There were times when he was kind, we had great conversations, we did a lot of amazing work together, through such tough times.
“But that happens in abusive relationships, as so many women know. You keep going back, hoping you’ll get the nice version.”
She asserted a significant power imbalance in the relationship and said on one occasion he became physically abusive.
Miller described an incident when she woke up next to Tudge in a hotel after he took her out for a drink but did not remember returning to the hotel room with him.
She woke at 4am to take a call from a journalist to arrange an interview with him, and said he started kicking her in her hip and leg before she even realised who he was.
“He was furious, telling me to ‘get the fuck out of his bed’. I quickly told the producer I would call her back. I then realised I was completely naked.
“I could not remember a single thing from the night before. I don’t remember how we ended up in his room. I don’t remember leaving the bar. I don’t remember if we had sex. I didn’t know if we used protection. I still don’t. I was too afraid to ask him if he remembered,” Miller said.
Tudge has denied all the allegations.
In her statement Miller called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to act on the review into workplace culture immediately.
“Today I stand in my former workplace to say, again, that what happened to me in this place was not OK.”
“This is entirely a men’s issue, and specifically, the men in this building. The Liberal Party doesn’t have a women problem, it has a men problem.”