Former AFL coach Dani Laidley is suing Victoria Police over leaked photos of her in custody, saying officers sought to humiliate and portray her as a “ridiculous spectacle”.
Laidley’s mug shot, and another of her in an interview room wearing a blonde wig and dress, were shared among police and on social media following her arrest for stalking last May.
Detective Senior Constable Murray Gentner shared Laidley’s mug shot in a police WhatsApp group called the “SD1 Gentleman’s Club”, according to documents lodged in Victoria’s Supreme Court.
He allegedly described Laidley as a “full blown tranny” and “dressing like a tranny”.
The documents also said another photo of Laidley in a police interview room was shared in the WhatsApp group, with both images disseminated on social media and to news outlets.
Laidley alleges the police officers sought to expose her to “humiliation and ridicule”.
“The first and second photographs and the words communicated by police officers … were understood to mean that (Laidley), by reason of dressing as and/or identifying as a woman, was deserving of disparagement and ridicule and that she was a ridiculous spectacle,” her writ said.
Laidley alleges police breached their duty of care. She is seeking “aggravated and exemplary” damages for being “brought into public ridicule and contempt”.
She was arrested for stalking a woman, and was in November spared a conviction and placed on an adjourned undertaking instead.
Sen Const Gentner was charged over the photo leak, alongside officers including David Hall.
Additional police, including Senior Constable Shane Reid and Constable Skye Nelson, were also named in Laidley’s legal claim.
It was previously revealed 39 officers and public servants faced internal disciplinary action over the leak, while six officers were ordered to pay Laidley compensation.
Laidley, formerly known as Dean, was a 1996 premiership player for North Melbourne and coached the Kangaroos between 2003-09.