MP accuses Latham of malice and increasing his hurt

Flavio Brancaleone, Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS

NSW MP Alex Greenwich says his hurt and harm has been increased by former NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham claiming a graphic tweet about him had enhanced his reputation.

The independent MP is suing Mr Latham for defamation in the Federal Court over the tweet which described explicit sexual acts he claimed Mr Greenwich engaged in.

The tweet targeted Mr Greenwich as an openly gay politician and was in response to statements calling Mr Latham a "disgusting human being" after LGBTQI protesters were attacked outside a Sydney church hall where the then-One Nation MP made a speech before the NSW election.

In his defence filed last month, Mr Latham said condemnation of the tweet by some politicians and commentators was proof the tweet and Mr Latham's later comments to a journalist "had enhanced and not damaged" Mr Greenwich's reputation.

In a response filed with the court on Wednesday, Mr Greenwich said Mr Latham's defence statements had "increased the hurt and harm" caused to him and warranted an award of aggravated damages.

One paragraph of the defence was "based on disgraceful prejudices about homosexual people and their presumed private sexual activities".

Mr Greenwich disputed Mr Latham's claim that material in the tweet was substantially true.

"Mr Latham does not know, and could not have known, anything about the private sexual activities of Mr Greenwich," the independent MP's response said.

He also said Mr Latham was motivated by malice in publishing the tweet and making comments to the Daily Telegraph predominantly to expose him to public humiliation, ridicule, contempt and hatred because of his sexuality.

Mr Latham has denied Mr Greenwich is entitled to any damages over the comments.

However, if the court ruled in favour of the independent MP, any damages paid would be reduced due to comments he made after the "homophobic attacks", Mr Latham said in his defence statement.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson sacked Mr Latham as the party's NSW leader last month, citing concerns about its performance in the March election.

Mr Latham and another MP then quit the party to sit as independents in the state's upper house.