This post deals with sexual assault and might be triggering for some readers.
On Wednesday afternoon, March 3, Attorney-General Christian Porter identified himself as the cabinet minister who is at the centre of a historical rape allegation.
In a widely watched press conference, 50-year-old Porter tearfully fronted the media as he denied that he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl in 1988.
It comes after a letter was sent to Prime Minister Scott Morrison last Friday, as well as Labor's leader in the Senate Penny Wong and Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, alleging rape by a senior minister before he entered politics.
This week, NSW Police said there was "insufficient admissible evidence" to investigate the alleged incident. The case is now closed.
The complainant first contacted police in 2019, but died by suicide last year.
Following Porter's press conference, where he said the incident did not happen, he would not be standing down, and he had not read the report, Australians were left with a number of questions.
Here are the most pressing, and our attempt to answer them.
1. Is it true that no journalist approached Christian Porter about the historic rape allegations?
During Wednesday's press conference, Christian Porter said:
"Before last Friday, all I can say is that I had heard — I think about November last year — a rumour being spread by a small number of people that I had somehow offended against someone decades ago in a way that was never specified to me.
"Something that I am just personally struggling to even wrap my head around is that all of this has happened and I have never been contacted in any substantive form by anyone putting to me the details of what appears is now being alleged against me.
"No-one put anything in any detail to me seeking a response... No journalist has ever put the detail of the allegations to me in a way that would allow seeking a response. Not ever.
"All I know about the allegations is what I have read in the media."
In response to Porter's claim, political journalist Peter van Onselen said "if true... I find that an unbelievable failure of journalistic ethics."
According to journalists, however, they did reach out to Porter before publishing details of the alleged historic rape.
Investigative journalist for Crikey News, Amber Schultz, tweeted: "I've emailed every single male cabinet minister's media team multiple times this week and have not received any response from anyone."
I've emailed every single male cabinet minister's media team multiple times this week and have not received any response from anyone— Amber Schultz (@AmberMaySchultz) March 3, 2021