Lidia Thorpe claims Greens lawyer told her to say she dated ex-bikie
Former Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe has denied she ever dated former Rebels bikie gang president Dean Martin, claiming a party lawyer told her to say she had done so.
The now-independent senator's claim came after she was cleared of contempt by a committee investigating her failure to declare the relationship.
Thorpe, who was a member of a joint parliamentary law enforcement committee at the time in question, resigned as the Greens' deputy leader in the Senate after the alleged relationship with Martin was reported in October. She referred herself to the committee later that week.
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That committee on Tuesday found she should have declared the relationship but made no finding of contempt.
It was satisfied there'd been no disclosure of sensitive material, a major point of concern when the story first broke.
But welcoming the finding on Tuesday night, Thorpe said she had "no relationship with that person".
"I was given legal advice by the Greens' lawyer to say — I had to say that I dated this person," she told the Senate.
"I got a call from that person and said, 'Ah, did we date?'
"We kissed once at a rally. Kissed once at a rally on the 26th of January.
"I had no idea who this person was or his background. My legal advice was to say I dated this person and I got mauled by all of you. I got mauled by the media."
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A spokesperson for Greens leader Adam Bandt said they understood the facts as they were laid out in Thorpe's own submission, in which the senator said she and Martin "briefly dated" in March 2021, having "met through Blak activism".
"The information in the letter is consistent with the information Senator Thorpe and others provided to us," the Greens spokesperson said in a statement issued to media outlets on Tuesday.
In her letter, Thorpe flatly denied discussing any joint committee matters with him or providing him with any documents or transcripts.
"I should have disclosed my connection to Mr Martin to the joint committee and to my party leader, Adam Bandt. I regret the mistake I made and as a result I resigned as the Greens' deputy leader in the Senate," she wrote.
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On Tuesday, Thorpe, who quit the Greens last month over the party's position on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, demanded an apology from leader Adam Bandt, because she lost her party position over the Martin incident.
"For what? For a kiss on Invasion Day with some Black man at a rally who happened to be an ex-biker," Thorpe said.
"I didn't ask for his resume."
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