Former One Nation senator Brian Burston offered to console a distraught staffer with the best sex of her life; his defamation trial has been told.
Wendy Leach described Burston’s offer as “just filthy” and told the court she had previously regarded him as “an old dude from the country, like an uncle”.
She testified to being sacked after she told him he had to stop his “fucking infatuation” with her colleague, Terri-lea Vairy when he asked for photos of her at a concert the woman attended.
Leach, 55, gave evidence in the federal court on Friday on behalf of Senator Pauline Hanson, who is being sued for defamation by Burston.
Burston has claimed the One Nation leader accused him of sexual harassment on social media, via a text message to his wife, and during a television interview.
The 74-year-old denies all allegations as entirely fabricated.
Leach told the court she was Burston’s office manager in 2017 when he told her he was employing his cleaner, Vairy, who he said was “hot”.
“She is good-looking but as dumb as a shit carter’s horse,” the senator told her.
Burston said it had been good to get rid of another staffer as “she was ugly as a hatful of arseholes”, Leach said.
Leach referred to an office meeting about another worker who she said was doing crazy things and harassing her.
She told the court that Burston said in the meeting that “if you girls can’t get on, you will have to look for another job”, which she thought was unfair as she was doing her job very well.
When she started crying, Leach said, Burston told her: “I am a softie for a woman in distress.”
She claimed he said, “you probably just need a good fuck”, to which she replied: “Thanks for making me laugh.”
But he grabbed her by the face, said he was not joking, and could come around to her place.
“No one need know; it will be the best fuck you have ever had,” Burston allegedly said.
Leach said despite the comment being very unwelcome, she took no action as she had just bought a house and needed her salary for the mortgage.
She said Vairy told her she was “creeped” out by their boss and felt he was grooming her.
Leach told the court she regularly saw Burston staring and gawking at Vairy, kissing her, and heard him say, “Are they real boobs? They are a perfect size.”
In October 2018, the women went to a concert in Tamworth, and Burston texted asking for photos; Leach told the court.
She said that when she sent some photos which didn’t include Vairy, he asked if she was there, and when she did not reply, he texted: “Please respond, or you might both be looking for jobs on Monday.”
Leach told the court she had been drinking and “lost it”, ringing her boss and telling him: “I am fucking sick of this, this fucking infatuation; you have got to stop it now.”
She told the court Burston replied that she was disrespecting a federal senator, and on Monday, there was a termination letter on her desk.
She later settled her unfair dismissal complaint, receiving the maximum amount payable.
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Under cross-examination from Bruce McClintock SC, Leach denied that she suggested sex to Burston by saying, “I need a good root”.
She denied attending the fundraising concert with Vairy as a representative of Burston, who wanted photos of his staff for his official Facebook page.
“The whole issue of these photos was to get photos of Terri-lea,” she said.
She denied falsely saying she stayed working for Burston because of her financial situation.
“You stayed because it was only until you betrayed my client by getting drunk at the event in Tamworth you were perfectly happy working in my client’s office,” he said.
“Incorrect; you just have to look at the medical records,” she replied.
The trial before justice Robert Bromwich continues on Tuesday.