Woman at centre of Australia 60 Minutes defamation case describes being forced to take virginity test aged 13

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AAP

The woman at the centre of an Australia 60 Minutes defamation case has told a jury in a Sydney court of being regularly beaten by her older brother who was "very focused on chastity".


Nadia Tabbaa.

Source: Nine

Nadia Tabbaa, now 29, said when she was eight, she left Jordan with her mother and siblings to live in Sydney where her older brother Omar was extremely abusive about her taking part in swimming, gymnastics, or sleepovers and about the way she dressed.

"He was extremely violent all the time," she said in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday.

"He belted us with a belt, a kettle cord and thongs" from the time he arrived in Sydney until she was taken back to Jordan in 2002 at the age of 13.

Ms Tabbaa broke down as she recalled the moment she was forced to take a virginity test in a Jordan hospital that same year.

Ms Tabbaa is giving evidence on behalf of the Nine Network, which is being sued for defamation by her parents, Mouhammad Tabbaa and his former wife Pamela Tabbaa, over a 60 Minutes program broadcast in 2014.

In the interview, she says she was kidnapped at 13 when holidaying in Egypt, taken to Syria to live with relatives and forced to marry her older cousin.

Ms Tabbaa told the jury she barely saw her father when they lived in Amman before she came to live in Sydney when she was eight, and Omar became the disciplinarian and father figure.

"From my understanding, Omar came to Australia believing we would live an Islamic lifestyle," she said.

He was shocked their Australian-born mother had abandoned Islam.

He also abused her for going on sleepovers "in a house with strange men" and disapproved of her wearing swimming suits or leotards.

"Everything to him was sexualised," she said.

"Everything was very focused on chastity."

From the age of eight, he would say things like: "why are you dressed like a slut?"

The hearing continues.

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