A former government intern has shared personal accounts and messages from 2014 between her and the Liberal staffer who allegedly raped Brittany Higgins. The texts were shared with News.com.au, and reveal moments of flirtation between the two.
The young woman tells News.com.au that seven years ago, the Liberal staffer allegedly invited her into the office of a Nationals senator in Parliament House when she was just a university student. She clarifies that although the interactions between her and the staffer were “consensual,” she alleges that she frequently felt “pressure” from him to have sex.
“The thing that really makes me feel sick about this is because… I distinctly remember a time when he also took me to his Senator’s office after hours,” the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, told News.com.au.
“Nothing ‘rapey’ happened. But that makes me feel really ill. I feel like he wanted to [take me there] because he wanted to show off his power. He was obviously much more important than I was.
“When we were on the couch he started kissing me. I stopped and I went home afterwards.”
News.com.au reports that according to the young woman, “proper sex” was never had between the two, but their association with one another involved completely consensual sexual acts.
Screenshots of phone messages were sent into News.com.au, and include references to a comfortable lounge in the office of an unnamed Nationals senator.
“You should come tomorrow, use the printer and watch TV haha,” the staffer wrote in a message sent via Facebook Messenger.
“The lounge in his office is really comfy good for doing readings. Haha.”
To this the young woman writes: “Depends, do you tend to talk a lot whilst studying?”
He then writes: “Well depends what study… usually I am a good boy haha.”
The woman detailed to News.com.au that she “definitely wasn’t raped”, but she alleges that she experienced forms of sexual coercion from the staffer, including the night where she first met the man, and became drunk.
“I was very drunk and he was totally sober. I never felt weird about that but there were other instances where he definitely pressured me. We never had proper sex.
“There was one time I kept saying, ‘No, I am really tired, I don’t want to do anything’ and he kept being like, ‘Oh, come on. Come on.’”
“In some ways it’s consensual. But is it really consensual? If you’re saying ‘NO’ and eventually you give in and say ‘Yes’?” she said.
The ex intern also mentions the nature of their relationship and how the two met. It is important to note that the woman says that most interactions between the two occurred with consent.
“He was very, very ambitious. When I met him he was already interning for a Nationals MP,” she said.
“It was basically all he would ever talk about. He was one of those people who would go and watch question time every single day it was on.
“I would describe him as someone who was sure he would one day become a Prime Minister of Australia. He was like (the MP) is going to make sure that I take his seat one day.”
Brittany Higgins is due to make a formal statement to the Australian Federal Police on Wednesday, which will prompt action into the investigation of the allegations to date.
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