"I had to drink through a straw." Woman raped by Australian cricketer Alex Hepburn suffered face paralysis after the attack, & more in News in 5.

-With AAP.

Warning: This article deals with an account of rape/sexual assault and may be triggering for survivors of abuse.

1. “I had to drink through a straw.” Woman raped by Australian cricketer Alex Hepburn suffered face paralysis after the attack.

The victim of Australian cricketer Alex Hepburn has revealed the trauma of him orally raping her triggered a medical condition that left her face frozen.

The university graduate was left with a paralysed face after Hepburn attacked her as part of a ‘sex conquest’ game he set up on WhatsApp with his cricketing teammates.

In April, the ex-Worcestershire county player was found guilty of one count of oral rape at the Worcester Crown Court in the UK, following a retrial. A jury found the 23-year-old had raped a sleeping woman at a party in April 2017, but cleared him of a second count of rape involving the same victim.

He has been sentenced to five years prison, but is appealing his conviction.

The victim was required to give evidence twice after a jury failed to reach a verdict at a trial earlier this year. She said the process has torn her life apart.

“I had thought this was all going to be over in January, then April, and now there’s more uncertainty that it isn’t the end,” she told The Mirror.

“It was said in court he’d shown remorse. Now he’s appealing. It just shows how arrogant he is.”

She blasted the court process that allowed jurors to hear “glowing” character references for Hepburn, while she was labelled as “easy”.


The trauma of the rape and the subsequent trials had left her with PTSD, and four months after the attack she was rushed to hospital with a suspected stroke, after the left side of her face dropped and froze.

Doctors said she had Bell’s Palsy, a sudden weakness or paralysis of one side of the face often brought on by stress.

“I was at my aunty’s house and thought ‘I can’t smile’. As the day went on my eye drooped and the side of my face froze. It took months to go back to normal. I had to drink through a straw. It stopped me working. I didn’t want to leave home.”

She also lost weight, suffered from debilitating panic attacks, and endured nightmares after the April 1, 2017, rape.

The woman had consensual sex with Hepburn’s then-teammate, Joe Clarke, earlier in the evening before falling asleep.

Clarke had passed out in the bathroom after the encounter. The woman later woke to find a man, whom she believed to be Clarke, engaging in a sex act with her in the dimly lit room. She only realised it was Hepburn when he spoke in an Australian accent.

She pushed him off and asked where Clarke was while Hepburn was “pawing” at her legs. She ran to a bathroom, locked herself in and phoned a male friend who said he would come pick her up.

During the trial, Judge Tim Tindal told Hepburn he “demeaned women” and arrogantly treated the victim as “a piece of meat”.

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.


2. Driver behind fatal crash in Sydney last week swerved across “three lanes of traffic”.

A man who allegedly caused a fatal catastrophic pile-up on Sydney’s M4 has spent a second night behind bars after he was refused bail in a NSW court.

Irishman Francis Shanley, 36, died in the crash involving at least eight cars and a truck at the Church Street off-ramp in Mays Hill on Thursday morning.

Francis Omigie, 53, was on Friday charged with dangerous driving occasioning death and other offences, and on Saturday was refused bail in Parramatta Bail Court.

Magistrate George Zdenkowski on Saturday said he refused bail on the basis that Omigie allegedly failed to stop and render assistance after the “horrific” crash and then sought to evade police.

Court documents allege Omigie applied “harsh and unnecessary braking to a motor vehicle, while steering across three lanes of traffic” before the pile-up and then allegedly drove away.

Mr Shanley’s ute was struck by a truck carrying beer kegs and the 36-year-old died at the scene.

Omigie’s lawyer Eiad Diyab said his client – who migrated to Australia from Nigeria two years ago – was quite distressed about the incident.

Omigie will re-appear via video link at Parramatta Local Court on Wednesday.


3. First home buyers will only need a five per cent deposit, promises Scott Morrison.

First home buyers will get government support with their 20 per cent house deposit whoever wins the federal election on May 18.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a new scheme at the Liberal election campaign launch in Melbourne on Sunday, that will mean a home buyer would only have to save for a five per cent deposit.


Labor was quick to steal his thunder, saying it will match the plan.

Mr Morrison said a similar scheme had been successfully running in New Zealand for a number of years.

Under the plan, the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation – which Mr Morrison established when he was treasurer – would guarantee the difference between five per cent of the purchase price and the 20 per cent deposit.

“This will make a big difference,” Mr Morrison told the party faithful on Sunday.

“Cutting the time taken to save for a deposit by at least half and more.”

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said Labor would match this commitment.

“After six years of failure, and six days before an election, the Liberals are desperately trying to tell young Australians they understand their struggles to buy their first home,” Mr Bowen said in a statement.

He said first home buyers knew the Liberals were out of touch and were only for the top end of town.

“We back genuine support for first home buyers – that’s why we are also reforming negative gearing for future purchases, so young Australians don’t have to keeping losing out to wealthy property speculators,” he said.

The Property Council said the deposit plan was a “smart proposal” and will provide some confidence for the housing construction sector.

“It will deliver some welcome assistance for aspiring first home buyers who have been confronted by the ever-increasing size of the deposit required to buy a home as the market has risen in recent years,” the council’s chief executive Ken Morrison said in a statement.


The prime minister said the plan would allow singles earning less than $125,000 a year and couples earning less than $200,000 a year to get into the housing market for the first time.

“The support would stay in place for the life of the loan,” the prime minister said.

“They’ve got their first leg on the first rung of the ladder.”

To boost competition the scheme would give preference to smaller banks and the non-bank lenders, who will still do the normal checks on the borrowers to make sure they can meet their repayments.

“This isn’t free money,” Mr Morrison said.

The scheme, which would start next year, would run alongside the government’s first home supersaver scheme and other state-based initiatives.

Mr Morrison had another dig at Labor’s plan to limit negative gearing to new properties and doubling capital gains tax.

“I’ll tell you what we won’t do, what we won’t do is undermine the value of the home you have saved so hard to buy,” he said.

4. “We have control over our own bodies.” Alyssa Milano calls for a sex strike in protest of strict abortion bans.


Actress Alyssa Milano has ignited social media with a tweet calling for women in the US to join her in a sex strike to protest strict abortion bans passed by Republican-controlled legislatures.

The former star of Charmed and Melrose Place urged women in the tweet on Friday to stop having sex “until we get bodily autonomy back”.

Her tweet came days after Georgia became the fourth state in the US to ban abortions after a foetal heartbeat is detected – about six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women know they’re pregnant.

“We need to understand how dire the situation is across the country,” Milano told The Associated Press on Saturday. “It’s reminding people that we have control over our own bodies and how we use them.”


She noted that women have historically withheld sex to protest or advocate for political reform.

Milano received support from fans and fellow actress Bette Midler joined her in also calling for a sex strike with her own tweet. But both liberals and conservatives also lampooned her idea, with conservatives praising her for promoting abstinence and liberals saying she was pushing a false narrative that women only have sex as a favour to men.

Milano said the criticism didn’t bother her and that her tweet was having her desired effect, “which is getting people to talk about the war on women.”

She said she fears one of the laws could eventually be decided by the conservative-leaning US Supreme Court, which Republicans hope will overturn the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision legalising abortion.

5. Peggy Lipton, Twin Peaks actress and mother of Rashida Jones, has died from cancer at 72.

Peggy Lipton. Image: Getty.

Actress and former model Peggy Lipton, who rose to stardom in the 1960s on the counterculture police TV series The Mod Squad and later starred in Twin Peaks, has died.

Her death from cancer was announced on Saturday by Kidada and Rashida Jones, her daughters from a marriage to famed music producer Quincy Jones.

"She made her journey peacefully with her daughters and nieces by her side," Lipton's daughters said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. "We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her."

Born in New York on August 30, 1946, Lipton began modelling at age 15 and quickly found herself in demand. At age 19, she made her television debut on the sitcom The John Forsythe Show, going on to make appearances on such series as Bewitched, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and The Virginian.

The waifish, blonde Lipton had just turned 21 when she rocketed to fame in 1968 as the street-smart flower child Julie Barnes, one of a trio of Los Angeles undercover "hippie cops" on the ABC crime series The Mod Squad.


One of pop culture's first efforts to reckon seriously with the counterculture - and one of the first TV shows to feature an interracial cast - the series, which co-starred Michael Cole and Clarence Williams III, dealt with issues such as domestic violence, abortion, police brutality, the Vietnam War and drugs. Over five seasons, the series earned Lipton, one of the "it" girls of her time, four Emmy nominations and a 1971 Golden Globe award for best actress in a TV drama.

Her role and later marriage to Jones, who is black, put Lipton at the centre of the passions of a restive America dealing with racism and a post-World War II generation who were breaking free from their parents.

The Mod Squad's edgy music and hip slang marked a significant shift from shows like Gunsmoke and Leave It to Beaver. But while the show turned the mini-skirt-and-bellbottoms-clad Lipton into a fashion icon, she found the spotlight uncomfortable.

"I never saw myself as trend-setting," Lipton told The Times in 1993.

"We were always working. Fame really drove me into my house. I was very paranoid. I didn't like going out. I had no idea how to be comfortable with the press. I was very young. It was really hard for me."

Lipton parlayed her role on The Mod Squad into a singing career, enjoying chart success with her cover versions of Stoney End and Lu by Laura Nyro and Wear Your Love Like Heaven by Donovan.


In 1974, Lipton married Jones and, with the exception of a 1979 Mod Squad reunion TV movie, stepped away from her career to focus on raising a family. The pair's daughters, Kidada and Rashida, would both become actresses, the latter gaining fame on the comedy series The Office and Parks and Recreation.

After Lipton and Jones divorced in 1989, Lipton decided to return to acting, landing the role of Norma Jennings on the cult TV series Twin Peaks.

"It was very scary," Lipton told The Times in 1993.

"I had a push-pull thing inside me that I wanted to do it.... I had become so insulated in my world as a mother, that I didn't know how to pick up the phone and call anybody to put myself out there."

She and Clarence Williams III made cameo appearances in a 1999 big-screen version of The Mod Squad that starred Claire Danes, Omar Epps and Giovanni Ribisi. In her 2005 memoir Breathing Out, Lipton wrote of her struggles with fame and the racism she and Jones faced as an interracial couple and revealed that she had been diagnosed with and treated for colon cancer the previous year.

In recent years, Lipton continued to appear in occasional supporting roles in films such as When in Rome and A Dog's Purpose.

"We can't put all of our feelings into words right now, but we will say: Peggy was and will always be our beacon of light, both in this world and beyond," her daughters said in a statement. "She will always be a part of us."