CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses rape.

Today, former attorney-general Christian Porter decided to drop his defamation case against ABC and Four Corners journalist Louise Milligan, spinning it as a win in front of the media. However, Milligan has now called him out and claims he actually proposed a settlement first.

Porter first launched the defamation case against the ABC and Milligan after an article was published outing him as the subject of a historic rape allegation.

The case against the ABC has now been discontinued and Porter will be awarded with $0 in damages. That means that the ABC hasn’t agreed to pay Porter any money in an out-of-court settlement. The only costs that the ABC will be paying are the mediation costs.

The original article has now been updated and includes an editor’s note that states that the ABC did not intend to suggest Porter had committed the alleged historical rape, and that misinterpretation is “regretted.”

Speaking at a press conference today, Christian Porter made his withdrawal from the ABC defamation case and the updated note on the original article seem like a victory.

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

“I never thought that they would concede that the accusations that were put in the article could never be proven, could not be proven to the criminal standard or the civil standard.

“In fact, I was astonished, last Friday, when they asked us into an urgent mediation.

“My view is that there was incontrovertible evidence in a court that someone was coached by Louise Milligan to destroy important communications.

“My view is that is what got the ABC to ask us into mediation, and forced them to the point where they had to put up that they regret the outcome of the article.

“It forced them to the point where they had to acknowledge that what was said in the article cannot be proven to a civil or criminal standard. My view is that shook them.”

However, Louise Milligan claims that the former attorney-general proposed a settlement first, which undermines his earlier statement that suggested the ABC had conceded.

“Mr Porter proposed a settlement first,” Milligan said.

“If he wants to dispute that, happy to refresh his memory and release the terms he offered.”

The ABC stands by Louise Milligan and the investigation, as “Australians have a right to be informed.”


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Image: Getty Images / Paul Kane