Lisa Wilkinson blasts Scott Morrison over handling of alleged sex abuse scandal

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

Lisa Wilkinson slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison on The Sunday Project over the way he's handled the Brittany Higgins alleged sexual abuse scandal.

The presenter questioned why Mr. Morrison would need advice from his wife Jenny on how he should feel about the situation.

Lisa Wilkinson on The Project in a red top
Lisa Wilkinson has slammed Scott Morrison over the handling of the alleged sexual abuse scandal involving Brittany Higgins. Photo: Ten

"Parliament’s culture encouraged some of the senior team surrounding the Prime Minister to see a woman asking for help as a political problem first, and a person in need a distant second," Lisa said on the show.

"This is a culture the Prime Minister has presided over for three years.

"Prime Minister, you indicated that after a full day to consider the horror of what Brittany says she experienced, you needed your wife to tell you how to react. I wonder if that means that you too have now fallen victim to that culture?"

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Mr Morrison issued a public apology to Brittany and announced there would be an investigation into the workplace culture at Parliament House.

However, he angered many Aussies when he said it was when he thought about the issue as a father of two daughters that it made him see the situation differently.

"Jenny and I spoke last night, and she said to me, 'You have to think about this as a father first. What would you want to happen if it were our girls?'" he said at a press conference last Tuesday.

"Jenny has a way of clarifying things. Always has. And so as I’ve reflected on that overnight and listened to Brittany and what she had to say, there are a couple of things here we need to address."

"Scomo said you have to think about this as a father first," comedian Natalie Tran wrote on Twitter in response to the Prime Minister's comments. "No. You don't need to think about rape through the lens of how would YOU feel if this happened to YOUR women.

"What kind of lack of compassion for others without considering yourself runs through your veins?"

Brittany accepted his apology, but told News.com.au the investigation was "long overdue".

"I shared my story yesterday because I didn’t want what happened to me, to happen to anyone else," she said. 

"I note the apology from the Prime Minister in the media this morning and thank him for this.

"The Prime Minister’s announcement of an investigation into the culture in Parliament House is a welcomed first step, though it is long overdue."

Lisa also spoke directly to Brittany during Sunday night's episode of the show, thanking her for sharing her story.

Mr Morrison issued a public apology to Brittany and announced there would be an investigation into the workplace culture at Parliament House. Photo: Getty
Mr Morrison issued a public apology to Brittany and announced there would be an investigation into the workplace culture at Parliament House. Photo: Getty

"Brittany, as one of the many Australians who were inspired by you this week, thank you for telling us your story. Thank you for finding your voice and in the face of enormous political pressure, both publicly and privately, refusing to be silenced.

"This week you changed the national conversation for survivors of sexual assault, you told us of the shocking culture at Parliament House, and what women supporting women should actually look like. We hope that now you truly do get the justice you have for far too long being denied."

Brittany alleges she was raped on a couch in Senator Linda Reynold's office, who she was working for at the time, in March 2019 following a night out.

For sexual assault and family and domestic violence support you can call 1800respect on 1800 737 732.

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