Her lawyer, Richard Leder, acted for actress Rebel Wilson in her successful defamation action against Women’s Day in recent years, gaining a $4.7 million damages payout that was heavily reduced on appeal.
The activist group’s lawyers told Ms Banks yesterday that it had stopped distributing the leaflet, which asserted that she had bullied a workplace colleague before entering Parliament.
Advance Australia also agreed that no further comment would be made to the effect that Ms Banks “is a bully” or “bullied a young female executive” in the way set out in the leaflet.
The Liberal incumbent in Flinders, Health Minister Greg Hunt, said he had no knowledge of the Advance Australia leaflets and did not support personal attacks.
Mr Hunt has been the subject of union attacks and a GetUp campaign against him because of his part in the leadership spill last August and the attempt by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to replace Mr Turnbull.
Advance Australia named Flinders as one of its target seats in early April.
Ms Banks said she had expected the attacks in the “current toxic political culture” because the campaign in Flinders had been full of name-calling and dirty tricks.
“Today the Liberals’ conservative action group, Advance Australia, met my legal requests and have agreed to withdraw the brochure and they will make no further false or highly defamatory comments,” she said.
Rather than referring to claims of bullying, the Advance Australia flyer asserted events occurred in Ms Bank’s former workplace, citing a news report in The Australian. Ms Banks said the claims were false.