It was so awful she stayed in the job for three years

From The News of the Screws Australian, in a masthead across the front page: Hugs, kisses and dread: the politics of sexual harassment.

The former commerce-law student lodged a police complaint last November regarding Mr Zumbo’s alleged conduct when she worked for him as an electorate officer in his Sutherland office from June 2015 — when she was 21 — to June 2018….

The adviser, now 27, told The Australian of the trauma of the three years she spent working for Mr Kelly, saying she was hospitalised with stress and anxiety partly as a result of the ongoing sexual harassment…. “It was awful. I had to go home to a boyfriend who’d say ‘how was your night?’ “You just feel disgusting and used and scared to go into work again, but what else do you do? This is my job and it’s a good job.”…

Mr Kelly said he had investigated the previous allegations and found they had no basis. Earlier this week he said he had provided a report about his investigation to the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, John Kunkel. The woman who spoke to The Australian, said: “I don’t want to be seen as a victim and I also would have fear of what that would mean of getting hired again because I don’t want to be seen as someone who causes problems.

This bit is possibly the most bizarre part of the story.

She recalls being parked in Mr Zumbo’s car, somewhere with a view of the Harbour Bridge, and she has a recollection of being in the back seat of his car and Mr Zumbo trying to kiss her — but cannot recall what else happened.

She was horrified when she ­received a text message from Mr Zumbo that implied that sexual relations had unfolded. “The next day I received a message from Frank saying ‘Thanks so much for a great night. I really hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I’m even more convinced that we’ll make a fantastic political team. How does that sound? Give me a call when you can’.’’

She says she asked Mr Zumbo multiple times what had happened but he would not tell her.“I had no idea what had happened in his car that evening ­although I do remember being in the back seat of his car and him trying to kiss me, but I do not ­remember what happened beyond this point,” she said.

“I confronted Frank about this at work in private. I asked him ‘what happened in your car on Friday night?’ All he would say back, was that ‘anything that happened, you were OK with’, and ‘we didn’t have sex, nothing like that, as we didn’t have a condom’.

Meanwhile, she’s back in the UK running for Parliament.

1 thought on “It was so awful she stayed in the job for three years

  1. Pingback: It was so awful she stayed in the job for three years - The Rabbit Hole

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