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Man accused of raping Brittany Higgins allegedly ‘demanded’ intercourse from former housemate

A former roommate of the man accused of raping ex-liberal worker Brittany Higgins has told police that he made undesirable sexual advances towards her while they were living together.

Important points:

  • Kriti Gupta claims the man made undesirable sexual advances towards her when they were roommates
  • Ms. Gupta made a statement to NSW Police and the Australian Federal Police
  • Five women made allegations against the man

Kriti Gupta has issued a statement to New South Wales Police, alleging the incidents happened while they were roommates in a Sydney apartment.

She has since made a statement to the Australian Federal Police investigating the Higgins case.

Ms. Gupta, 24, told ABC she felt “unsafe” when she rented a room from the man from October 2019 to February 2020.

She is the fifth woman to raise allegations against the man accused of raping former colleague Higgins in the office of then Secretary of Defense Linda Reynolds after a drink in March 2019.

A second woman claims he raped her last year after they had dinner and drank, while a third woman claims he sexually assaulted her after a night of drinking in 2016.

A fourth woman told ABC that the man “patted her thigh” under the table in a Canberra bar in 2017.

“He tried to woo me”

Ms. Gupta and her ex-roommate met at a Model United Nations conference at Sydney University in 2015 when she was a 19-year-old college student.

“I’ve become friends with this person. We’ve spoken a few times over the years, we’ve seen each other at conferences, we’ve met, and we’ve become friends, as you would in situations like this,” she said .

In 2019, Ms. Gupta said she had asked the man for advice on how to find work in Sydney and had been asked to rent a room in an apartment he was renting.

Brittany Higgins went public claiming she was raped by a colleague in a ministerial office almost a week ago. (

Supplied: Brittany Higgins / ABC News: Emma Machan

)

She said she was impressed with his success in the same area she worked in – public relations.

“He had a good job in parliament before, so I took his advice because he gave up that mood of power,” she said.

“He said, ‘You can stay with me while you sort everything out’ and I thought, ‘This is probably going to work just fine’.”

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Ms. Gupta said she told the man she wasn’t interested in a romantic relationship before moving to Sydney from Brisbane.

“I think he believed there was a possibility before I moved because he said, ‘We can go out, have a nice fancy dinner’.

“He tried to woo me in that vein, but I ended up saying, ‘I don’t care, I have a boyfriend’ which I did at the time,” she said.

“I felt insecure”

Over a period of five months, Ms. Gupta told police that the man she considered a friend had touched her in a way that made her feel unsafe.

“He would have a glass of wine in his left hand and he would reach his right hand and rub my knee,” she said.

“It would send out lightbulbs and I would say, ‘I have to get out of this situation, but I can’t go because I have nowhere to go,’ so I would say, ‘Okay, I’m tired, I’m’ I’m going to sleep ‘. “

Sexual Assault Support Services:

Ms. Gupta said that while viewing the man as a friend, she felt uncomfortable because of the alleged behavior.

“I wasn’t comfortable in my own home,” she said.

“I felt like there were moments and times when I lived with this person that I was insecure.

“I’m not saying it was all bad. We had dinner together, we were friends. It’s common for people to be friends with people who treat them unfairly.

“I apologized.”

“We have to have sex”

Ms. Gupta claims the man “stormed” into her room at 3am in December 2019 and “demanded” that she have sex with him.

“I had to push him out of the room, close the door, put things against the door so he couldn’t get in,” she said.

“So that was particularly confrontational, I would say.”

Ms. Gupta told the police about a similar incident that happened another night.

“It wasn’t like, ‘We’re going to have sex,’ but he stormed into my room and said, ‘Let’s sniff cocaine’ and things like that and I would say no.”

She told police that the man had made undesirable progress in drinking and that she had not had more than a drink or two around him.

“If we were ever to drink together, I would only have a glass or two of wine at a time, so I was still in control,” she said.

Change the conversation

Ms. Gupta said she was asked to make the allegations public after hearing that other women came forward.

“The conversation has to change, and it can’t be just, ‘Oh, he didn’t rape, attack or molest her’ because those micro-attacks against women still count,” she said.

“Just because someone is your friend and does this to you, it’s not okay.

“Just because it’s not illegal doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong.”

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