skip to Main Content
Fighting Sexual Harassment Claims For You
‘Dirty Dyson’ Allegedly Harassed Oxford University Students

‘Dirty Dyson’ allegedly harassed Oxford University students

Dyson Heydon’s university nickname has been revealed amid new sexual harassment allegations against him.

The former High Court judge was known as “Dirty Dyson” and “Handsy Heydon” in reference to his sleazy behaviour towards women at Oxford University.

Today, media reports allege further sexual misconduct by Heydon while he taught at the prestigious English university.

Dyson Heydon’s university nickname revealed

On Monday, an independent inquiry by the High Court found Heydon had sexually harassed six court staffers.

Additionally, other women, including a judge and the former head of the ACT Law Society, allege he indecently assaulted them.

Today, Oxford University students spoke to the media alleging more inappropriate conduct by Heydon.

Following his mandatory retirement from the High Court in 2013, Heydon taught at Oxford’s Faculty of Law.

A former student told the The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age:

“My first introduction to him was that all the Australian law students at Oxford called him ‘Dirty Dyson’, that seemed to be the moniker he had widely.”

Another student says she made an official complaint to the university after Heydon harassed her in a library.

Yet another former student remembers being “warned” not to be alone in a room with Heydon.

NEXT READ  Legal profession

“Legal practitioners tell stories of harassment in wake of Heydon scandal”

Australian student alleges sexual harassment

Australian law graduate Elizabeth Houghton told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald about the harassment she suffered at the hands of Heydon while at Oxford.

She says Heydon invited her to lunch following a seminar.

“He was very friendly at that first lunch and that was it.

“Then we went to leave, and he said ‘Oh, I have to make another lunch booking’.

“He turned to me, and said ‘The same time next week?’ so I realised he was talking about having lunch with me.”

The waiter needed a mobile phone number for the booking, so Heydon asked Houghton to supply hers.

“Then he got out a pen, and said ‘Oh, I’ll take that down at the same time’”.

The next morning, Houghton woke to a missed call from Heydon.

He left a message saying: “Hi Elizabeth, this is Dyson Heydon, it was really lovely to meet you, I would like to have lunch with you again today.”

Inappropriate behaviour escalates

The following week, Houghton said she felt obligated to go to lunch with Heydon again after he asked her.

She told him she felt unwell, and should keep her distance.

“He leant over and put his hand on my leg, and rubbed it, and said in a leering way, ‘We can’t have you being ill’. Then he put his hand on my upper thigh. My brain just froze, it was like a white-out, alarm bells. I made my excuses and left.”

Houghton never went back to Heydon’s seminars.

She stopped using her allocated desk in the law library, because he had sought her out there before.

However, she never complained to the university.

“In the months after he left Oxford I discovered he was notorious for this kind of behaviour,” Houghton said.

“I was disappointed in the fact that people can behave like that and get away with it for so long.”

Lifeline  13 11 14

1800RESPECT  1800 737 732

QLife  1800 184 527

Beyond Blue  1300 223 636

MensLine Australia  1300 789 978

Kids Helpline  1800 551 800

University ends visiting professorship early

After Heydon harassed yet another student the following year, Oxford ended his visiting professorship early.

Oxford University declined to comment, saying that such allegations “are always dealt with in confidence”.

Heydon has denied all the allegations against him.


If you have experienced sexual harassment, we can help.

1300 463 866

To connect with us, please follow us on


Back To Top