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Brittany Higgins has responded to reports of an alleged nude photo scandal involving a newly elected Labor MP by calling for the complaint to be taken seriously.
Ms Higgins, a former ministerial staffer who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a male colleague in Parliament House in 2019, responded to reports that new Bennelong MP Jerome Laxale is embroiled in an alleged nude photo scandal with an ex-girlfriend.
She hopes the case will be investigated and satisfactory results given, as news comes out that her own rape case, which is due to start next Monday, could be delayed for up to three weeks.
“After everything we have learned in 2021, it is time to take these complaints seriously,” Ms Higgins tweeted on Thursday.
Brittany Higgins (pictured) has weighed in on the latest scandal to rock federal politics
“I hope that the matter is investigated and that there are satisfactory results for all concerned.”
Ms Higgins is a former Liberal staffer who came forward in March 2019 at a ministerial office in Parliament House with an allegation of sexual assault
The allegations shocked Canberra when she made her claims public last February, advocating for safety reform in parliamentary workplaces.
The man accused of raping Ms Higgins could be deferred for up to three weeks after his lawyer withdraws, days before it was due to start.
Bruce Lehrmann, charged with unauthorized sexual intercourse, has pleaded not guilty to assaulting Ms Higgins.
He was previously expected to face a six-week trial period on Monday.
But days before the trial was due to begin, his lawyer was unable to appear before him.
Lehrmann’s lawyer told the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday that a replacement had been found, but they needed more time to be informed.
Brittany Higgins called on Twitter to take the alleged complaint against new MP Jerome Laxale seriously
New Bennelong MP Jerome Laxale (left) has become embroiled in alleged nude photo scandal with ex-girlfriend
The court ruled that the trial should begin before June 27, in order to give the trial sufficient time.
ACT chief Lucy McCallum has postponed the trial until June 20.
Lehrmann’s legal team will return to court next week to discuss how the case is progressing.
Chief Justice McCallum rejected a request from Lehrmann’s lawyers for a permanent or temporary adjournment of the trial in late April.
The process is expected to take four weeks.
The latest scandal to rock parliament saw a woman who had an online relationship with Mr Laxale and volunteered for him during the election campaign, alleging that he failed to delete intimate photos of her.
Man accused of sexually abusing Brittany Higgins (pictured) can delay his rape trial
Jerome Laxale (left with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese) is at the center of a ‘naked’ scandal in which rival liberals told an ex-girlfriend of his they’d seen nude photos of her
The woman, who declined to be named, claimed she had been in a relationship with Mr Laxale when he asked her for nude photos.
Their relationship, she claimed, lasted from October 2020 to November 2021.
She told the Daily Telegram she sent the images, but had assumed he would delete them. She said the relationship ended on good terms.
But when she went to aid Mr Laxale’s campaign efforts in April this year as a friend and union member assigned to the campaign, the Liberals told her they had “seen the photos on Jerome’s laptop.”
The woman said she told the party about her concerns after the initial incident.
Daily Mail Australia makes no suggestion that Mr Laxale shared or possessed the images.
The woman filed a formal complaint with NSW Labor after the election, alleging that after raising the matter with Mr Laxale and other campaign officials, she had been withdrawn from the campaign and blocked on Mr Laxale and the social media pages of the campaign.
A campaign official reportedly texted the woman saying she wished she had all the information, adding documents from the Labor Party rule so she could “make an informed decision about how you want your complaints to be handled.” ‘.
“They’ve left me in the dark and it’s really impacting me, not just my emotional well-being, but also my future prospects if those pictures come out,” she told the Daily Telegraph.
“I want Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to personally look at this.”
Laxale has not yet publicly commented on the scandal.
“NSW Labor takes all complaints very seriously and treats them with the utmost confidentiality,” a Labor spokesman said.
Mr Laxale, 38, recently became the second Laxale candidate to ever win the north Sydney seat once occupied by former Prime Minister John Howard.
He won the seat by a narrow margin of just 1,600 votes after a 9.2 percent swing against the Liberal Party – compounded by the retirement of popular Liberal MP and tennis legend, John Alexander, who represented the electorate for 12 years.
An unnamed woman told the Daily Telegraph that the MP still possessed nude photos of her