A veteran radio host has been fired after branding rape accuser Brittany Higgins a ‘silly little girl who got drunk’ on his breakfast show.
Ms Higgins claimed in February that she was raped by a colleague in Defence Minister Linda Reynolds’ Parliament House office after a night out in March 2019.
‘I just ask myself why the Prime Minister doesn’t call it out for what it is – a silly little girl who got drunk,’ the 75-year-old said.
Veteran radio presenter Jeremy Cordeaux (pictured) has been fired for taking aim at rape accuser Brittany Higgins
‘If this girl has been raped, why hasn’t the guy who raped her been arrested?’
The Australian Federal Police launched a formal investigation into the alleged rape after the former Liberal staffer went public with the allegations last month.
Cordeaux, who has made headlines in recent years due to a range of drink-driving charges, slammed Ms Higgins for her alcohol consumption and questioned why the pair were allowed in to Ms Reynolds’ office at 2am.
‘Security, you know, should never have let these two into the minister’s office at two o’clock in the morning. Never,’ Cordeaux said.
‘The Defence Minister. Can you imagine security taking someone who was obviously drunk, so drunk I think that the young lady, during the week on television, said she couldn’t get her shoes on.
Pictured: Brittany Higgins speaking at the March 4 Justice rally in Canberra on Monday afternoon
Cordeaux (pictured) has made headlines in recent years due to a range of drink-driving charges
Nikola Anderson, the security guard who let the pair into Parliament House in 2019, told Four Corners last Monday that people with active passes to the building are allowed in at all hours, whether they are intoxicated or not.
Cordeaux continued: ‘My advice to the Prime Minister – as he was sort of monstered by A Current Affair – my advice would be to stop worrying about offending somebody.’
On Monday morning, FiveAA breakfast host David Penberthy announced that Cordeaux’s contract had been ‘terminated’.
In a statement read on air, Mr Penberthy apologised to Ms Higgins and withdrew the comments.
Brittany Higgins, then 24, has alleged she was raped by a colleague inside Parliament House in March 2019
‘Mr Cordeaux’s employment has been terminated and FiveAA and Nova Entertainment have immediately taken broader action to ensure this can never happen again,’ he said.
‘The views expressed by Jeremy Cordeaux do not reflect those held by FiveAA and Nova Entertainment and we unequivocally withdraw them.’
Former federal MP Kate Ellis said Mr Cordeaux’s comments were ‘nasty’.
‘This sort of garbage is one of the reasons so few survivors of sexual assault ever speak up and it is the kind of victim blaming that belongs in centuries past,’ she said.
Mr Morrison (pictured) said on Tuesday that he was ‘shocked and stunned’ by Ms Higgins’ allegations
‘I don’t want to hear these ignorant, incorrect and mean comments anywhere in our community, let alone broadcast on our radio stations. Frankly I don’t see how he can keep his job.’
Mr Morrison said on Tuesday that he was ‘shocked and stunned’ by Ms Higgins’ allegations and vowed to support women who come forward with violence and sexism complaints.
‘I have heard that women are overlooked, talked over, by men, whether it is in board rooms, meeting rooms, rooms, media conferences, cabinets, or anywhere else,’ he said.
‘Overlooked and treated like they have nothing valuable to contribute. I have heard about being marginalised, women being intimidated, women being belittled, women being diminished, and women being objectified. That is not OK.’
The prime minister said Senator Linda Reynolds (pictured) was frustrated over suggestions she did not give enough support to Ms Higgins at the time of the incident
Several women have since come forward to allege they were assaulted by the same man since Ms Higgins went public with her claims in February and has since made a a formal complaint to Australian Federal Police.
The allegations prompted a former intern to share intimate details about her experiences with the man on a couch in the office of a Nationals senator at Parliament House in 2014.
While she says their encounters were consensual, she claims she felt ‘pressured’ to have sex with him on other occasions.
‘Nothing ‘rapey’ happened. But that makes me feel really ill. I feel like he wanted to [take me there] because he wanted to show off his power. He was obviously much more important than I was,’ the woman told news.com.au.