Coroner closes book: Secrets of Porter’s accuser may never be known

The South Australian coroner has made a finding into the death of a woman at the centre of historical rape allegations against former attorney-general Christian Porter but will not conduct an inquest.

Apr 27, 2023, updated Apr 27, 2023
Former Minister Christian Porter. (Photo: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Former Minister Christian Porter. (Photo: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Coroner David Whittle said an exhaustive investigation had been completed into the June 2020 death of the woman, referred to as Kate.

“I have entered a finding as to the cause of Kate’s death and determined that an inquest will not be held,” Mr Whittle said in a statement on Thursday.

“This is in accordance with the wishes of Kate’s family, who have requested that their privacy be respected.”

Mr Whittle said as state coroner he was bound by confidentiality obligations and no further information would be provided.

It was previously revealed NSW police detectives met the woman in Sydney in February 2020 and had contact with her on at least five occasions over the next three months.

On June 23 she indicated in an email to them that she did not wish to proceed with the complaint and two days later SA police advised she had died.

Mr Porter took mental health leave from his ministerial role at the time of the allegations and strongly denied having raped the woman when they were both teenagers in 1988.

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He resigned as the federal minister for industry in September 2021 and did not contest the 2022 federal election.

When the first media reports of the allegations broke, the then senior coalition minister was not named but later outed himself.

He denied he had any sexual relationship with the woman whom he said he knew briefly 33 years ago.

“I have been subject to the most wild, intense and unrestrained series of accusations I can remember, in modern Australian politics,” he told reporters in Perth at the time.

AAP has contacted Mr Porter for comment on the SA coroner’s ruling.

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