News in 5: Zoe Marshall reveals abusive ex; Couple sues IVF clinic; 8-yo found in hot car.

Warning: This article contains information about domestic violence which may be distressing for some readers.

1. “I feared for my life.” TV presenter Zoe Marshall opens up for the first time about an abusive ex.

Zoe and Benji Marshall. Image via Instagram.

For the first time, 33-year-old Zoe Marshall has revealed she suffered horrific abuse at the hands of a man she dated.

Speaking exclusively to The Daily Telegraph, the TV presenter and wife of NRL star Benji Marshall said she was so desperate to escape and so distressed, she crashed her car and ended up in hospital.

"I feared for my life," Zoe, who is currently six months pregnant with her first child, told The Daily Telegraph.

"I had moments where I thought, 'I'm going to die or I'm going to kill him because I'm so full of rage, I'm going to do something that I cannot take back'."

She said her abuser would throw plates of food at her and drag her across the floor by her hair. Her head was once split open when he smashed it against a brick wall.

She described how she was isolated from her friends and family and was not allowed to leave the house without her abuser by her side. During her darkest moments, she even contemplated taking her own life.

"I thought about it a lot for a period of that time. You don't know a way out, it seemed easier," she said.

Marshall also said that when she first started dating Benji in 2013, she struggled to talk to him about the abuse she had suffered in the past.

"Some previous partners couldn't cope and it ended the relationship," she said.


"Thank God I had someone like Benji who went, 'This is really full-on but I'm going to be patient with it'."

Marshall has finally decided to share her story after she and a friend launched a fashion line to raise awareness and money for a charity that supports the victims of domestic violence and homelessness, Share The Dignity - an organisation Mamamia is also a proud supporter of.

Marshall wants to remind Australians that almost anyone can be a victim of abuse.

"I'm pregnant, I'm married to an amazing man, I've got a great career, all these things look fantastic, but you don't know," she said.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, please call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT.

If you or someone you know needs help you can call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyondblue 1300 224 636.

2. "I was devastated." Parents sue Sydney fertility clinic after sons inherit genetic disorder.


The parents of two boys, aged nine and six, with an intellectual disability say they can move on with their lives after reaching a settlement with a Sydney IVF clinic.

Leighee and Philip Eastbury sued an Australian IVF provider, accusing them of failing to identify she was a carrier of the Fragile X syndrome.

Fragile X is a genetic syndrome causing intellectual disabilities and behavioural challenges.

Before she had her two sons, Leighee Eastbury says she was was told she wasn't a carrier for Fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition that her boys will now live with for the rest of their lives.

It wasn't until her oldest son Hayden was a toddler that Ms Eastbury learned that she was in fact a carrier and both he and her youngest, Jacob, were affected by the condition which causes intellectual disability.


"I was devastated, absolutely devastated, it was something I had a test for ... you base all your family planning and everything off that test," she told reporters on Monday in Sydney.

The Eastburys' barrister Jay Anderson said the IVF provider had provided an inappropriate chromosome test.

"It should have performed a molecular DNA test, which at that time was considered the only reliable test for determining carrier status for Fragile X," Mr Anderson told the NSW Supreme Court.

But the company's barrister David Lloyd argued the company performed the test as requested and Ranjana Curtotti, the general practitioner who initially referred Ms Eastbury for testing, had a duty to check the correct one was performed.

Dr Curtotti's barrister, Richard Weinstein SC, argued the GP asked the right question and got the answer to a different one because the incorrect test was done.

The Eastburys told reporters on Monday they probably wouldn't have tried to conceive if they knew Ms Eastbury was a carrier.

"It's very hard to say in hindsight because we've got two boys that we love ... but obviously Leighee went for testing at the time for a reason," Mr Eastbury said outside court.

ABC reported Mr and Mrs Eastbury were "ecstatic" after they reached a settlement on Monday evening with the fertility clinic.


"It just means now we can get on with looking after our boys and knowing we've got some financial security for the years to come," Mr Eastbury told the ABC.

3. An eight-year-old boy is fighting for life after he was found trapped in a hot car.

An eight-year-old boy has been rushed to hospital in a critical condition after being found unresponsive in a car as the temperature in Melbourne soared to 32C.

One of the child's parents found him in the vehicle about 2.45pm on Monday in Maddox Road at suburban Newport.


Police, firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene, near a school.

Homicide squad detectives are investigating.

"It is unclear ... how the boy came to be in the car however the incident is not believed to be suspicious," police said in a statement.

"It's just a very sad situation," a resident who lives near where the boy was found, told The Herald Sun.

"I can't imagine what the parents would be going through. It's sad whichever way it happened -
especially when kids are involved."

4. Yes, the newest ferry to join the Sydney fleet is going to be named 'Ferry McFerryface'.


Sydney commuters will soon be able to board a vessel named 'Ferry McFerryface' after the name came out on top when citizens were asked to vote on a name for the newest member of the fleet.

According to Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance, the most popular name was actually Boaty McBoatface, but given the name was actually used for a polar research ship in Britain in a similar competition, a double up had to be avoided.

(It's worth noting that Boaty McBoatface was eventually rejected, and the research vessel was named RSS Sir David Attenborough instead.)

"Given Boaty was already taken by another vessel, we've gone with the next most popular name nominated by Sydneysiders," Mr Constance said, reports ABC.

"Ferry McFerryface will be the harbour's newest icon, and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of visitors and locals alike.

"This one is for the kids."

More than 15,000 name suggestions were given as part of the Name Your Ferry competition, which began a year ago and gave people the opportunity to name six new members of the iconic Sydney Ferry fleet.


Three of the other names have already been chosen, and pay tribute to some of Australia's most regarded medical professionals: heart surgeon Victor Chang, ophthalmologist Fred Hollows and obstetrician Catherine Hamlin.

5. Independent senator Jacqui Lambie could be forced to resign in the next 24 hours after citizenship drama.

jacqui lambie
Image source: Getty.

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie could be the latest federal politician to fall victim to the citizenship saga and serious doubts have emerged over the eligibility of her possible replacements, AAP reports.


The Tasmanian senator told media she would resign if the British Home Office confirmed she is a UK citizen by descent through her father, who was born in Scotland.

She is expecting to find out later today.

Senator Lambie said in a statement last week she did not believe she was dual citizen.

"I am proud of my Scottish ancestry and my father is too," she said.

"I'm happy to put on record that I'm satisfied that my parents are both Australian Citizens and I have no concerns about me being a dual citizen because of where they were born or came from."

Her pledge to quit if she is found to hold UK citizenship came on the same day fellow crossbencher Cory Bernardi hinted another Senate colleague could be in breach of the constitution.

"I do have concerns that there is a member of this chamber, at least one, who knows they are not eligible to be here because of their constitutionality," Senator Bernardi told parliament.

If she leaves parliament, members of her Jacqui Lambie Network may not be able to replace her.

The next person on her Tasmanian 2016 election ticket was Devonport mayor Steve Martin.

Professor George Williams, from the University of NSW, said Mr Martin could be in difficulty because of his local government position.


6. A Melbourne man has been charged with the murder of the American woman he met on Facebook.

Image via Facebook.

Tamara Turner, a grandmother of six, was found on a bench outside Victoria's Mildura Base Hospital on a Monday morning in June last year. She was already dead.

The 49-year-old had been shot in the thigh, with a bullet piercing a major artery, and had injuries consistent with assault, The Age reports.

Now, her Australian partner, Melbourne man Steven Samaras, 47, has been charged with her murder.

Authorities believe the pair were on a camping trip near Mildura when Tamara was shot. Steven was arrested and questioned the day after her death, but was had not been charged.

At the time, The Age reported he told detectives that Tamara's shooting death was an accident.

Tamara and Steven met online, before she moved from her home in the US state of Missouri to Australia in late 2015 so the pair could be together. They claimed to have married in February 2016.

According to her son, Chuck Smith, the pair were "obsessed" with each other, and became engaged just two weeks after meeting on Facebook.

"We were all concerned about it," he told The Age after his mother's death.

"But me and my sister wanted her to be happy. I mean, she was a 48-year-old woman, you gotta do what makes you happy."

Steven is due to face court in February.