Actress Pamela Anderson has criticised Australia’s prime minister for making “smutty” remarks about her, after earlier asking him to help Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
Ms Anderson had urged Scott Morrison to bring Mr Assange to Australia.
Mr Morrison rejected her plea, but said he had “plenty of mates who have asked me if they can be my special envoy to sort out the issue with Pamela”.
A government minister defended his comment as being “light-hearted”. Mr Morrison has not responded to Ms Anderson’s criticism. Mr Assange, an Australian citizen, claimed asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations – a case that has since been dropped.
Several Australian politicians backed her criticism of Mr Morrison’s language, even if some disputed her views on Mr Assange’s case.
Labor Senator Kristina Keneally tweeted: “It’s high time men, including @ScottMorrisonMP, stopped using a woman’s sexuality & appearance to denigrate her political arguments.”
Independent Senator Derryn Hinch add that Mr Morrison “really should not have said it”.
One government minister, Steve Ciobo, told Australian media: “I suspect it was a statement that was said in a light-hearted way”.