3 Nov 2016

Goddard blames rivals for 'defamatory comment'

8:48 pm on 3 November 2016

The New Zealand judge who formerly headed a major child sex abuse inquiry in Britain says false and defamatory articles were placed in the media by her political opponents.

Dame Lowell Goddard

Dame Lowell Goddard Photo: SUPPLIED

In a letter to British MPs explaining her resignation, Dame Lowell Goddard said she decided to quit in August when three members of the inquiry's panel met her to voice their dissatisfaction with her leadership.

Read the 10-page letter, dated 28 October 2016 (PDF, 140KB)

Dame Lowell told the MPs she was not aware of tensions within the inquiry until then, and believed intense media pressure damaged perceptions of her.

"I have been the subject of extensive, false, and defamatory comment in the British media, and have had to instruct London lawyers in these matters. These are current and not resolved," she wrote to Home Affairs Committee chair Yvette Cooper.

"The media claim that some of the most recent defamatory comments have been made by members of the Committee you now chair."

She urged the committee to investigate the "leak of false information".

Dame Goddard declined to be interviewed by video link from New Zealand, saying she would rather put her thoughts in writing.

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