An alleged rape victim plans to take legal action over a 'lying cow' comment made by an Australian member of parliament.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds made the statement in front of several other colleagues, while discussing the claim made by her former staffer Britanny Higgins.
Higgins said a male colleague sexually assaulted her in Reynolds' office in 2019.
The Minister has since apologised for what she said, claiming she has never questioned the nature of Higgins' accusation.
"I have never questioned Ms Higgins' account of her alleged sexual assault have always sought to resepct her agency in this matter".
Lawyers are now in discussions, with Reynolds hoping to resolve the matter "as soon as possible"
"In the meantime, I want to express how deeply sorry I am for these remarks and for any hurt and distress they have caused," the Minister shared with 7News.
In a statement from Higgins' lawyers, the alleged defamatory comments have caused "hurt and distress".
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the comment was made in private, after a "stressful week".
"That doesn't excuse it, not for a second", he went on to say.
Higgins told the ABC she delayed handing in her resignation, as she thought it would affect the ability to continue working in her "dream job".
Despite not making a police complaint at the time about the alleged abuse, Higgins is now planning to do so.
"Resigning is the only thing I can personally do to say that I don't think anyone else should go through what I went through," she told Network Ten.