Nationals MP George Christensen says he will be pursuing legal action amid the “grubby” campaign he believes is being smeared against him.
The Queensland MP allegedly frequented an adult venue called Pony Tails, in a popular entertainment district in the Philippines throughout a four-year period, according to a joint investigation by Nine News, Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
The establishment’s manager Marjorie Lamsen reportedly said Mr Christensen “was a big spender” and a “very regular visitor”, and was also known to regularly visit other venues in the area.
His 28 trips to the Philippines between 2014 and 2018 saw him become dubbed the “Member for Manila” by colleagues, with him spending almost 300 days in the country during the four-years.
He also reportedly married April Asuncion in the Philippines in 2017 after apparently meeting her during one of his trips. He has denied allegations she was an employee at Pony Tails.
The joint investigation claimed to have seen an employment card with her name listed as an entertainer at the bar. A hygiene clinic said the card was legitimate, but lawyers for the MP on Monday said it was fraudulent.
Mr Christensen, a devout Christian, has condemned the “defamatory allegations” and announced his plan to take legal action for whoever is responsible for the “attack” on his wife.
“There is an unwritten rule in Australian politics that we do not attack family members and spouses but a certain media outlet and whoever is feeding them have trampled all over that longstanding convention,” he told news.com.au.
“I am seeking legal advice regarding my response to this matter, and apart from potential legal action and this short statement, I will not be commenting further on these slurs.”
The Australian Federal Police previously conducted a year-long investigation into Mr Christensen’s frequent trips to the Philippines but closed the case mid-2018 and cleared Mr Christensen of any wrongdoing.
He faced backlash for blocking the release of information on the AFP’s assessment of his travel patterns, Nine News reported.
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