Shane Bazzi, the unemployed activist who Defence Minister (and egg head-shaped man) Peter Dutton is suing for defamation, has raised a staggering $118,000 in crowdfunding that will contribute to his legal defence
Bazzi, who says his Centrelink payments discontinued after changes to the JobSeeker policy, all while renting a property, has been crowdfunding money in a bid to mount his legal defence against Dutton’s lawsuit. In a tweet shared on Tuesday, he said, “Dutton is suing me.”
“He’s on approximately $400,000 and recently sold one of his properties for six million dollars. I’m unemployed, my JobSeeker payment is zero dollars and I’m renting.”
In case you missed it, Peter Dutton is suing Shane Bazzi for a tweet he made on the 25th of February. In the midst of the then-emerging reports around Brittany Higgins’ allegation that she was raped by a former Liberal staffer in then-Defence Minister Linda Reynolds’ office, Dutton said he was not aware of the “she said, he said details of the allegations.”
Around the same time, Bazzi called him a “rape apologist” on Twitter, attaching a link to a Guardian story referencing claims Dutton made about pregnant victims of rape on Nauru. From that tweet alone, representatives of Dutton argued that Bazzi was claiming that Dutton “condones or excuses rape.”
Last month, Bazzi’s solicitors, O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors, released a statement slamming Dutton’s decision to sue their client over “adverse opinions.”
“O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors have been instructed to vigorously defend defamation proceedings brought by the Minister for Defence, Peter Dutton, against our client, Shane Bazzi,” O’Brien Solicitors wrote in their statement.”
“Mr. Bazzi expressed an honest opinion on Twitter that Peter Dutton was a ‘rape apologist’. This opinion was based on a number of publicly reported statements that had been attributed to Mr. Dutton.
“A robust and vibrant democracy like ours should cultivate and encourage a diverse array of expressions of opinion on matters of public interest.”
As of publishing, Peter Dutton has not made a public statement on the matter.