What kind of discussions might James Hooke have had with Christian Porter?
An ex-boyfriend and close friend of the woman who accused Attorney-General Christian Porter of rape has revealed that he had “relevant discussions” with the woman as early as 1988, news.com.au and otheroutlets have reported – marking the first time anyone has confirmed that the woman disclosed her alleged rape decades ago. Macquarie Group managing director James Hooke – the man referred to in extracts from her diaries where she deliberates over who to tell – said in a statement that he has “clear recollections” of “relevant discussions” he had with the woman over the years from mid 1988 until her death, as well as of those he had with Porter in the early to mid ’90s, though he has not revealed the substance of any of those discussions. Hooke, who says Porter is entitled to the presumption of innocence under criminal law, supports an investigation of the non-criminal aspects of the matter, and has offered to cooperate with any inquiry, saying he is willing to testify under oath.
Hooke joins a growing list of individuals who say the woman told them of the alleged rape in some form or another. But he’s the first person to reveal that he has recollections of relevant conversations with Porter that he wants to share.
Hooke chose to come forward today in response to questions from numerous journalists, after News Corp outlets revealed his full name. While his revelation of “relevant discussions” with the woman are huge, we already knew from her own diary entries that she had believed for decades that she had been raped. What is bigger here is Hooke’s revelation of “relevant discussions” with Porter, who he has known for 30 years.
What did Hooke discuss with Porter in 1992 and throughout the mid ’90s? That’s for him to know (and willingly share with an inquiry, under oath) and for us to wonder about – Hooke doesn’t say. Did Hooke confront a twenty-something Porter over what he was said to have done to his “dear friend” and sometimes girlfriend? This would seem to contradict Porter’s claims that no one had ever put the allegations to him before. Or does Hooke refer to other kinds of “relevant discussions” with Porter – a man who university peers say was “deeply sexist and actually misogynist in his treatment of women, in the way he spoke about women”; who frequently made off-colour comments in the law students’ magazine (“our opposition’s case had more holes than Snow White’s hymen,” the most infamous); and who allegedly propositioned the woman at a dinner in 1994, saying “you owe me one”, a comment she took to be a reference to the alleged attack?
Hooke, also a trained lawyer, must have some fairly significant information to share. He writes that he had made himself known to NSW Police, acknowledging that they were now unable to interview him on the matter, but is willing to share information under oath at an inquiry like the one into the conduct of Dyson Heydon. He’s careful not to share too much with the media here, which he believes is not the “optimal forum” in which to investigate the matter. It’s not, but it will remain the only forum until another avenue presents itself. Pressure is mounting for an inquiry, pressure that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has continued to resist, but it’s likely to grow even more intense with parliament returning next week. How much longer can he – and Porter – withstand it?
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An ex-boyfriend and close friend of the woman who accused Attorney-General Christian Porter of rape has revealed that he had “relevant discussions” with the woman as early as 1988, news.com.au and otheroutlets have reported – marking the first time anyone has confirmed that the woman disclosed her alleged rape decades ago. Macquarie Group managing director James Hooke – the man referred to in extracts from her diaries where she deliberates...
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