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Bob Hawke, 'pleaded with daughter' not to report alleged rape by political ally

David Millward
The daughter of the former Australian prime minister said her father asked her not to report the rape to police - Getty Images AsiaPac

Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke pleaded with his daughter not to report being raped by a Labor MP fearing the case could damage his political career, it is claimed in court documents.

The allegations against Mr Hawke, who died in May aged 89, have been made by his second daughter Rosslyn Dillon, 59, in a legal claim against her father's estate.

Ms Dillon is seeking 4 million Australian dollars (£2 million) from her father's $18 million estate, rather than the $750,000 she was left. 

In a 25-page affidavit lodged at the New South Wales Supreme Court and reported by The New Daily, she claims she was raped by Bill Landeryou, a Labor MP and close ally of Mr Hawke,  who died in February aged 77.

Ms Dillon alleges she was sexually assaulted three times: at a Hilton hotel, in parliament and at the MP's home.

"These instances of sexual assault occurred during a period when, to my knowledge, my father was preparing to challenge the current Leader of the Opposition for the role of Leader of the Australian Labor Party," she alleges in the affidavit.

She confronted her father, who was soon to become Australian Prime Minister, with the allegations at the family home.

Mr Hawke replied: “You can’t go to the police. You can’t. I can’t have any controversies right now. I am sorry but I am challenging for the leadership of the Labor Party.”

Ms Dillon says she was "shocked and hurt" by her father's request. "He asked me to let the matter go for him and I did so for him.

"I am still haunted by the sexual assaults. I feel that I may have had a chance to get over these rapes if I was able to report the incidents to police."

Ms Dillon says her share of the estate is inadequate given the impact the sexual assaults had on her mental health. Her older sister, Sue Pieters-Hawke, has confirmed Ms Dillon did tell her about the assaults.

Mr Hawke did succeed in securing the party leadership and led Labor to four election victories in succession.