Olympian Nova Peris sues Jacinta Price for Studio 10 debate that allegedly implied she ‘supported rapists’

Former senator and Olympian, Nova Peris, has begun defamation proceedings against conservative Alice Springs councillor, Jacinta Price, for allegedly implying in a Studio 10 segment that Peris “supported rapists to achieve positions of power” and “turned a blind eye to sexual violence against women”.

Broadcast this time last year, the 29 January 2019 panel saw Price claim that Peris has “been involved” with abusive Indigenous men in powerful positions.

Lydia Thorpe (left) and Jacinta Price (right) were joined by Studio 10 host Kerri-Anne Kennerley, who was labelled racist just the day before

“Now if you want to talk about rape and murder, we need to go back to when this country was invaded and that’s what Australia continues to be celebrating,” former Greens MP Lidia Thorpe, the first Indigenous woman in Victorian parliament, said.

Price replied: “While there’s women and children suffering right now, right now I think the immediate focus needs to be right in this very instance because otherwise these women and these children are going to continue to suffer which is the biggest atrocity within our country at the moment.

“We need to start condemning the perpetrators and we know within Aboriginal Australia there are powerful men who have made it to powerful positions who have never been condemned … Nova Peris has been involved with these particular people.

“A lot of Indigenous leaders have been involved, there’s been one in the news recently, he has managed, he’s a known rapist, who has managed to make it to a powerful position and none of us in the Indigenous community have stood up and condemned these people, we have allowed them to continue on their paths.”

Peris was the first Indigenous athlete to win an Olympic gold medal, which she achieved in 1996 as part of the Australian women’s hockey team

Price and Thorpe, both Indigenous women, featured in the segment alongside Studio 10 host Kerri-Anne Kennerley, who just the day before was called racist by Yumi Stynes for similarly talking about sexual violence in Indigenous communities in the context of a discussion about Invasion Day protests.

Last week, Peris filed a statement of claim in the Supreme Court of Victoria which alleges Price defamed her by implying that she: participated in the promotion of Aboriginal men to powerful positions when those men were known to be perpetrators of sexual violence against women, turned a blind eye to sexual violence against women, supported rapists to achieve positions of power, and is a callous person because she ignored victims of sexual violence.

The segment, broadcast nationally, was posted to Studio 10’s Twitter, and retweeted by Price, in a move Peris claims is also defamatory. However, Price’s retweet is no longer available; the following month, Studio 10 removed the tweet.

The Olympic gold medal-winner is only suing Price, and not Network Ten. She is seeking aggravated damages because Price allegedly did not contact her about the claims prior to making them on national breakfast TV, and Peris was the only person singled out.

In court documents viewed by Mumbrella, Peris further states that Price’s lawyers wrote to Peris’ lawyers in February last year repeating the allegations made on-air, “written in a tone that was insulting and denigrating”.

In addition to both general damages and aggravated damages, Peris is seeking interest, costs, and a permanent injunction to stop Price from making the allegations again.

Price is yet to file a defence in the matter.


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