Labor MP Emma Husar has launched a defamation lawsuit against the media outlet that revealed bullying and sexual harassment allegations against her.
The Western Sydney MP told parliament on Thursday she had launched the legal action against BuzzFeed and journalist Alice Workman over the August 2 story.
BuzzFeed published the allegations made against Ms Husar in a confidential Labor internal investigation, which included evidence from more than 20 people.
“They went ahead and published their slut-shaming story knowing with full intent that it would go viral,” Ms Husar told parliament.
“They didn’t give me any notice in advance. They didn’t give me the opportunity to seek release from my confidentiality obligations so that I could respond.”
The piece included allegations she flashed another federal MP in his office, which she and the other MP denied.
“I am not a bully. I am not Sharon Stone. I am not a thief. And I did not deliberately misuse my work expenses,” Ms Husar said.
The investigation found she had mistreated her electorate staff, but it did not find evidence to support the flashing claims or allegations of sexual harassment.
“We’re aware that proceedings have been issued. We’re considering our position with our lawyers and will respond in due course,” BuzzFeed said in a statement to AAP.
Ms Husar announced in August she would not contest the next election, as she faced the internal investigation.
But the member for the NSW seat of Lindsay has since changed her mind and rejected suggestions she is no longer the Labor candidate for next year’s federal poll.
NSW Labor officials will meet on Friday to settle on a preselection process to replace Ms Husar.
Ms Husar has deliberately missed votes in parliament and Labor caucus meetings in recent weeks as she pushes back against the party.
She has also threatened to defect to the cross bench.
“I think Emma is a good person who’s been through a difficult time,” Labor MP Jim Chalmers told reporters on Thursday.
Labor MP Patrick Gorman also backed Ms Husar as a “good person”, but would not comment on the process.
“Most of us don’t get to choose when we leave this place and none of us get to choose when our careers come to an end,” he told reporters on Thursday.
© AAP 2018