Assumptablog

Bob Hawke ‘asked daughter to keep rape claim secret’

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Rossalyn, Hazel and Bob Hawke pictured in 1987
Rosslyn (far left) pictured with Bob Hawke and his wife Hazel in 1987

The daughter of former Australian PM Bob Hawke has alleged she was raped in the 1980s but he asked her to stay silent to avoid harming his career.

Rosslyn Dillon’s allegations are made in court documents seen by Australian site the New Daily.

She says she was raped by Bill Landeryou, an MP in Hawke’s Labor Party. Both men are now dead.

Ms Dillon, 59, is currently pursuing an A$4m (£2m; $2.7m) claim on her father’s estate.

In an affidavit, Ms Dillon alleges she was raped by Landeryou while working for his office. At the time Hawke was attempting to become Labor leader.

According to the papers, Ms Dillon says she was sexually assaulted three times, in 1983.

After the third time she told her father she had been raped and wanted to go to the police, but he responded by saying: “You can’t. I can’t have any controversies right now. I am sorry but I am challenging for the leadership of the Labor Party,” the documents show.

Ms Dillon’s sister, Sue Pieters-Hawke, told The New Daily the family was aware of the allegation.

“She did tell people at the time. I believe there was a supportive response but it didn’t involve using the legal system,” she told the site. Other family members have not commented to Australian media.

A former union official, Landeryou served as an MP from 1976-1992. He and Hawke are said to have been on good terms throughout Hawke’s premiership.

Hawke was the dominant figure in 1980s Australian politics, winning four general elections.

He introduced sweeping economic and social change to his country, while cultivating a public persona of a down-to-earth, beer swigging rogue.

Media captionFive key moments from Bob Hawke’s life

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