Woman at heart of Tim Paine storm files lawsuit against Cricket Tasmania

The woman at the centre of the Tim Paine sexting scandal has filed a sexual harassment suit against Cricket Tasmania.

The former Australia Test captain admitted to sending sexually explicit messages and images to Renee Ferguson, 47, which emerged last Friday as he suddenly resigned as skipper on the eve of the Ashes.

Cricket Tasmania’s investigation into the matter concluded the exchange of texts between Ferguson and Paine was consensual, but her lawyers stated she was never interviewed as part of the probe.

However, the woman's claim is not connected to the incident involving the Australian wicketkeeper.

A 17-page document filed in Federal Court by her lawyers entails an originating application under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act for sexual harassment.

News.com.au reported that Ferguson complained about sexual harassment in the office prior to her decision to resign from her job – but the complaint did not relate to Paine or his brother-in-law, but another employee.

The 17-page document includes a claim that she previously raised a complaint regarding sexual harassment involving a Cricket Tasmania employee with the Human Resources manager.

Ferguson would reportedly later resign from her Cricket Tasmania role after being accused of stealing. She is scheduled to face the Tasmanian Magistrates Court in January regarding the allegations.

While details of Paine's lewd messages emerged last Friday, it was recently reported that his brother-in-law Shannon Tubb had allegedly sent explicit messages and pictures to the same woman.

The Herald Sun claimed that Tubb allegedly used Snapchat to send inappropriate messages to the woman around the same time as Paine, who was investigated in mid-2018 after she complained about his conduct to the Tasmania cricket board.

When asked about the sexting by the Herald Sun on Sunday, Tubb replied: "There’s no comment on that at all mate, I’m sorry."

Cricket Tasmania said at the time: "Cricket Tasmania won’t be responding to any of your questions above", but Cricket Australia revealed it had been informed about the investigation into Tubb.

The publication reported last Sunday that Tubb was forced out of his job with Cricket Tasmania amid an investigation into accusations he sent lewd messages. It was also reported that Tubb left his coaching role at Cricket Tasmania after a probe into his alleged conduct in 2018.

Meanwhile, as a result of the sexting scandal, Paine himself has now taken an indefinite break from cricket which has thrown Australia's Ashes plans up in the air.

Cricket Tasmania released a statement explaining that Paine, 36, will no longer feature in The Ashes.

"Following discussions over the last 24 hours, Tim Paine has advised Cricket Tasmania that he will be taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future.

"Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim and his family both professionally and personally over the summer."

Vice captain Pat Cummins will now lead the team following Paine’s decision to step down from the captaincy.

Steve Smith, who Paine replaced as captain following the ball tampering scandal three years ago, is now the vice captain for the five match series against England, which begins on December 8.

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