Jo Dyer, a friend of the woman who accused former Attorney-General Christian Porter of raping her in 1988, has issued a legal warning that she may launch her own defamation action against him.
Dyer released a statement today claiming that Porter had “twice impugned” her “honesty and integrity” during his defamation case against the ABC and Four Corners journalist Louise Milligan, which he has since dropped.
Dyer sent two concerns notices to Christian Porter via Marque Lawyers regarding comments he made about the ABC defamation case at press conferences, the latest being on Monday.
“Yesterday, Mr Porter alleged that, after ‘coaching’ from Milligan, I had destroyed important communications that may have bearing on his now discontinued action against Ms Milligan and the ABC,” Jo Dyer said in a statement.
“This is absurd. As I stated in court under oath, a number of people, of whom Ms Milligan was but one, encouraged me to treat all communications about our dear friend Kate, and the allegations she made against Mr Porter, with the care and respect she and they warranted.”
“There was nothing improper, illegal or sinister in my decisions to save or delete certain messages, decisions that were taken well before Mr Porter launched his now discontinued action against Ms Milligan and the ABC,” she said.
“He should be on notice that if I launch proceedings, I tend to see them through to their conclusion.”
Christian Porter has discontinued his case. The ABC will pay him no damages. I stand by my journalism & proud to work @4corners & grateful to the ABC & our brilliant legal team for supporting public interest journalism. Thanks, everyone, for your support. https://t.co/1l0h3SjlAQ— Louise Milligan (@Milliganreports) May 31, 2021
Jo Dyer’s defamation threats come after Christian Porter filed a defamation case against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan for publishing a story accusing an unnamed cabinet minister of raping a 16-year-old girl in 1988, who has since tragically died by suicide.
Christian Porter ended up identifying himself as the minister that was accused, and claimed that the ABC subjected him to trial by media. During the case, he alleged that Louise Milligan had coached Jo Dyer to destroy some messages that could have held weight in his action against the ABC.
Christian Porter’s defamation case against the ABC has now been dropped, with no damages paid to him.
“The ABC stands by the importance of the article, which reported on matters of significant public interest, and the article remains online,” a spokesperson for the broadcaster said, and the ABC has since updated the initial article to include a note that says they didn’t intend to suggest Porter was guilty.