It has been less than two weeks since she called out Senator Leyonhjelm in chambers claiming he told her to “stop shagging men”, but now Sarah Hanson-Young has confirmed she is taking legal action against the New South Wales representative and a crowdfunding campaign has been set up to help fund the suit.
An online fundraising campaign was set up on GoFundMe, which reads: “If you share our disgust at Leyonhjelm’s words and want to help Sarah insulate herself from what can be considerable legal expenses, please join us in contributing to a legal support fund* in this matter.”
The campaign was created by Emeritus Professor Simon Chapman AO and author Jane Caro and the money raised – which currently stands at more than $31,000 – will be used by Hanson-Young to pay for the defamation suit against Leyonhjelm over comments he made on television and radio about her sex life. However if Hanson-Young wins the case, the large sum will be donated to women’s charities.
Hanson-Young has also sent an email to supporters asking for $20 donations, reports the ABC, in which she said: “My resolve to make a stand was galvanised because I knew this wasn’t just about sexist comments and innuendo directed at me.”
Thanks to @SimonChapman6 & @JaneCaro for hosting a crowd-fund to help legal action against the nasty sexist attack from Leyonhjelm. I’m taking this action on principle, for all women who have had enough. If we win all $ will be donated to women’s charities https://t.co/HbDImVv6Xc
— Sarah Hanson-Young💚 (@sarahinthesen8) July 9, 2018
Hanson-Young, 36, stood up in the Senate on June 28 and said: “Earlier today, during the motion relating to violence against women, Senator Leyonhjelm yelled an offensive and sexist slur at me from across the chamber. After the vote on the motion was complete, I walked over to the senator and confronted him directly.
“I asked whether I had heard him correctly. He confirmed that he had yelled, ‘You should stop shagging men, Sarah.’ Shocked, I told him that he was a creep. His reply was to tell me to ‘f… off’. I informed the leader of the Greens, and he has raised it with both Senator Leyonhjelm and the President.
“I am disappointed that the senator has refused to apologise for this offensive and sexist slur, and I call on him to formally withdraw and apologise directly.”
Leyonhjelm, 66, then appeared on various radio TV and radio outlets where he continued to defend his statements and refused to apologise to Hanson-Young. Speaking on Sky News at the time, he said: “Sarah called out words to the effect of, ‘yeah they should stop raping women’. So I responded to her, she didn’t like my response. When the division was over, she came over to me and called me a creep.
“I told her to go and make love in another place and she decided that was all really bad. There won’t be any backing of or apologising.”
He later defended his comments by saying they were “just abuse” and denying there was anything sexist about what he said as he “doesn’t discriminate between men and women”.
He also then took aim at Studio 10 host Angela Bishop and labelled her a “bigoted b**ch” on Twitter before refusing to apologise to her live n air, however it was later revealed that he did say sorry once the cameras had stopped rolling.
Leyonhjelm has also launched a fundraising campaign which has raked in almost $11,000 in just three days. Writing on the website, Leyonhjelm says the funds raised will be used as a “war chest against the Greens”, saying: “Please give what you can so we can fight the Greens and their toxic unhinged ideology.”