An Australian minister has apologised for sending a text message reportedly describing a journalist as a “mad f****** witch” to the woman he was describing.
Peter Dutton, Australia’s immigration minister, revealed himself as the Liberal MP who accidentally sent the offensive message to Samantha Maiden on Sunday, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Ms Maiden had not named Mr Dutton, but referred to the incident in a TV interview on Sunday morning.
She had written a story exposing former cities minister Jamie Briggs as being responsible for the circulation of a photograph of a junior female public servant after allegedly trying to kiss her.
Mr Briggs as forced to resign from the frontbench over his “inappropriate behaviour” in violating her privacy.
Ms Maiden told the Today show ministers close to Mr Briggs, including Mr Dutton, “believe they’re hard done by, including by me”.
She then referred to a text she received that was “clearly not meant for me” from a Liberal MP, in which she was described as a “mad witch”. She added: “I thought [it] was spectacular.”
Mr Dutton admitted he was the accidental messenger, and apologised.
He said: “Sam and I have exchanged some robust language over the years so we had a laugh after this. I’m expecting a tough time in her next column.”
Ms Maiden has since changed her Twitter profile to “Totally mad witch”.
She also changed her Twitter header image to a still from 1960s animated version of the comedy fantasy series, 'Bewitched'.