Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has followed through on her vow to sue Senator David Leyonhjelm over what she says were his "defamatory statements" in the Australian media about her personal life.

"I'm calling this out because it is wrong," Sarah Hanson-Young said in a statement on Thursday.  "No woman, whether she be working behind a bar, in an office or in the Parliament, deserves to be treated this way, and it needs to stop."

She is now the first sitting Australian politician to file defamation proceedings against a fellow parliamentarian. 

During a debate in parliament on violence against women, Leyonhjelm shouted at Ms. Hanson-Young to "stop shagging men".  She confronted him on it on the floor.  Later, Leyonhjelm made further comments between 28 June and 2 Julyon Sky News, the ABC's 7.30 program, and Melbourne radio station 3AW, along with a media statement posted on

The comments made in Parliament are protected by parliamentary privilege.  But the remarks to the media fall under Australia's national defamation laws, which came into force in the states and territories in early 2006.

Leyonhjelm says he will fight the allegations.