James Ashby, as he appeared on 60 Minutes.
James Ashby, as he appeared on 60 Minutes.

James Ashby wants to reach out to Peter Slipper's wife

JAMES Ashby, the man who accused former federal speaker Peter Slipper of sexual harassment, says he would like to catch up with his wife Inge.

Mr Ashby has a new career as a pilot with One Nation founder Pauline Hanson.

He told the ABC he has has not spoken to the former Speaker since the court case, but he would like to contact Mr Slipper's wife Inge as they were once good friends.

He feared the court case would "devastate" Inge and the rest of Peter's family.

"It was a tough call and it does pain me to think she had to put up with that," he said.

"But sometimes the facts are hard to swallow and I think she did find it difficult."

In June last year, a court heard Mr  Slipper has tried to commit suicide twice, his marriage has broken down and he has been struggling with alcohol.

Mr Slipper's Buderim psychiatrist Chris Martin revealed the full extent of how far the former Speaker of Federal Parliament and Member for Fisher has fallen since his humiliating defeat in the September election.

Mr Martin was submitting evidence in the case whether fraud charges against Mr Slipper should be dropped on mental health grounds.

Wife stands by Peter Slipper: Video: ABC24
Wife stands by Peter Slipper: Video: ABC24

In August 2013, Mrs Slipper has revealed she was planning a third treatment of IVF before the James Ashby affair shattered her family plans.

The wife of the Member for Fisher told the Sunshine Coast Daily the couple were prepared to give it "one last go".

"I was in a good state of mind and thought we would try again,'' Mrs Slipper said.

"Then that same day the news came through (that James Ashby had laid charges of sexual harassment against Mr Slipper).

"I was in no state to continue, it was extremely hurtful.''

The couple, who married in 2006, have no children although Mr Slipper has two children from a previous marriage.

During the 2013 election campaign, she stood by Mr Slipper, telling reporters she had been disgusted by rumours that their marriage is a sham.

"Our marriage is real,'' she said at the time.

"I love Peter.''

"I have had to listen to rumours spread throughout this community that our marriage is not real,'' Mrs Slipper said.