Underbelly star Damian Walshe-Howling has denied allegations he sexually harassed an extra on the set of ‘Bikie Wars’.
Rebecca Wilson, who worked as an extra on the Channel 10 miniseries, is seeking compensation claiming she has been unable to work since the alleged incident.
Underbelly star denies sexually harassing extra
Wilson appeared as “Bandido Party Girl” in two episodes of Bikie Wars which went to air in 2012.
In court documents, she claims that during filming in 2011, Walshe-Howling “forcibly kissed” her on the lips “forcing his tongue into her mouth to contact her tongue”.
Wilson described the kiss as “non-consensual and un-scripted”.
Furthermore, she alleges Walshe-Howling held her “by the back of the head so that she was unable to free herself”.
She also claims Walshe-Howling said “just pretend!” and “just do it!” when she indicated she did not want to kiss him.
Later he allegedly “grabbed her by the arms” and said words to the effect of “isn’t that what you’re here for?”
Sexual harassment and sex discrimination
Wilson is suing Walshe-Howling and production company Screentime for sexual harassment in the Federal Circuit Court.
She also alleges sex discrimination, claiming the company treated her “less favourably” than a male employee in the same circumstances.
Wilson claims she suffered economic loss as a result of the alleged harassment because she had a “reduced capacity to work” immediately after the alleged incident.
In fact, she claims she hasn’t been unable to work since August 2012.
She is seeking damages for:
- hurt, humiliation and distress,
- aggravated damages,
- and compensation for past and future economic loss and medical expenses.
Lawyers demand medical evidence
In a defence filed in court, Walshe-Howling denies the claims.
The 48-year-old is best known for his role as tattooed killer Benji Veniamin in the TV series Underbelly.
He has also appeared in a string of other Australian dramas including the ABC’s Janet King.
His lawyers have demanded that Wilson produce medical evidence to support her claim the alleged incident left her unable to work.
Barrister Sue Chrysanthou, acting for Walshe-Howling, described the claim as “in effect a personal injury claim” that is “unusual to say the least”.
During a preliminary hearing, the court ordered the parties to mediation in an attempt to settle the matter.
Judge Tom Altobelli made the order and told the parties: “Good luck at the mediation.”
Sexual harassment can have a devastating effect
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from Sexual Harassment Claims says sexual harassment can have a devastating effect on victims.
“The court will determine this particular case, however, in general terms, victims of sexual harassment can suffer enormously,” he said.
“Some people end up with terrible anxiety, depression and even post traumatic stress disorder.
“Anyone who has been subjected to this sort of unlawful conduct could be entitled to substantial compensation.”
Please call our specialist team at Sexual Harassment Claims on
To connect with us, please follow us on