Lawyer's 'scandal' with ex-Liberal lover back in court
An ex-lover of former federal minister Craig Laundy alleges she was lied about, threatened and had people try to break into her home after the couple ended their two-year extramarital affair.
Lawyer Natalie Baini, a former ministerial staffer for the Liberal Party, has filed a civil lawsuit in the NSW Supreme Court seeking damages from Mr Laundy, his wife Suzanne and his daughter Sophie.
The case centres on harmful conduct she alleges took place after her affair with the Liberal MP was called off, including trespass, injurious falsehood and assault.
"I know that it might seem that some of the matters raised are scandalous. I absolutely agree that it's a scandal," Ms Baini said during a court hearing on Thursday.
She claimed she had received an aggressive phone call saying she was "being watched", and unknown people had been sent to her property to try and break-in, cause a disturbance and rattle her.
This activity ceased almost immediately when she notified NSW Police, she told Registrar Karen Jones.
"It had never been occurring in my life until Craig Laundy was in my life... It's a little bit too coincidental for comfort."
Mr Laundy allegedly described his former lover as "a one night stand that went for two years" and spread falsehoods about her to people in the media, the Liberal Party and the Prime Minister's Office, the court heard.
Barrister George Thomas, representing the Laundys, said the family denied Ms Baini's allegations.
"My clients deny any wrongdoing. They deny participating in the behaviour that my friend has spent well over half an hour asserting they have engaged in," he said.
Thursday's hearing dealt with a motion by the Laundys to obtain further details about Ms Baini's case, including who she alleged had tried to break into her property, and who she had heard any falsehoods from.
The Laundys require this information before filing a defence, they say.
Ms Baini has not provided any names of some individuals, claiming they were afraid of the repercussions if identified.
"It's probably not a surprise but political parties don't take too kindly to people getting involved in public matters which may not reflect too well on the party," she said.
Ms Jones reserved her decision on whether to order that further details be provided to the Laundys.
Ms Baini has also launched a separate NSW Supreme Court lawsuit against the Liberal Party, claiming she was blocked from being preselected to contest the inner west Sydney seat of Reid at the 2019 federal election.
She ran as an independent in 2022, but was unsuccessful in securing the seat, which fell to Labor's Sally Sitou.
The Liberal Party is trying to shut down the lawsuit by striking out her pleadings.
A hearing for this application has been scheduled for July 6.