Dani Laidley sues Victoria Police over more alleged shared photos

Dani Laidley (Danielle Laidley) tells her story on 60 Minutes on Nine
Image: 60 Minutes/Nine

AFL great Dani Laidley is again suing Victoria Police after officers allegedly circulated photographs of her taken covertly at Geelong Racecourse last year with “humiliating” and transphobic comments.

Laidley, who’s transgender, claims she was photographed by an unknown police officer while with partner Donna Leckie and their friends at the races on November 6, 2021.

She alleges Victoria Police members widely circulated the covert images – along with transphobic comments – on social media. Laidley made the complaint in legal documents filed in the Victorian Supreme Court this week.

She alleges police officers breached their duty of care to her by taking the photographs and circulating them. She claims the photos and comments “invited and exposed her to humiliation and ridicule.”

“The photograph and the words communicated by police officers of and concerning the plaintiff in this context meant and were understood to mean that the plaintiff, by reason of dressing as and/or identifying as a woman, was deserving of disparagement and ridicule and that she was a ridiculous spectacle,” the complaint states.

Dani Laidley is suing Victoria Police for injury and damages. She alleges the officers committed misfeasance – failure to discharge public obligations – by sharing the images online.

Speaking to the Herald Sun, Laidley said the incident took an “emotional toll” on her and made clear Victoria Police “haven’t learned” from the earlier custodial photo leak that outed her as a transgender woman in 2020.

“This is not acceptable,” she said, encouraging officers with knowledge of the incident to “have the courage to stand up and stop this from ever happening again”.

Victoria Police says ‘no evidence’ officers involved

But a Victoria Police spokesperson said the force “vehemently” denies Dani Laidley’s allegations.

“This matter was extensively investigated at the time,” the spokesperson said.

“No evidence was found to suggest any Victoria Police members, either on- or off-duty, were involved.

“All members working at the event where the image was taken were contacted and investigated.

“The media outlet [The Age] which initially reported the matter were contacted. [The outlet] refused to provide details on who sent the image, nor did they provide a copy of the alleged comments.

“Despite the best efforts of investigators, we were unable to substantiate any claims that a police member was involved.”

Dani Laidley settled with police over 2020 custodial photo leak

The former AFL North Melbourne coach and player previously sued Victoria Police after she was covertly photographed while in custody.

In May 2020, officers photographed Dani Laidley while police interviewed her inside St Kilda police station.

Laidley, whose gender identity was not publicly known at the time, was wearing a dress, makeup and blonde wig in custody.

The photos went viral online and were published on the front page of newspapers and websites.

The 55-year-old sued Victoria Police over the photographs. In March, Dani Laidley received a confidential financial settlement from Victoria Police.

In August, Dani Laidley told her story of her decades-long struggle with gender dysphoria in her autobiography Don’t Look Away.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *