Robert Doyle has been admitted to hospital for stress-related "serious ill health" and quit his post, after being the victim of unfair treatment, says wife.

By Joe McDonough


Posted on February 5, 2018

Robert Doyle, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, has quit seven weeks after sexual harassment claims were first made against him.

While the city’s longest-serving mayor continues to vehemently deny the allegations, he was admitted to hospital last night and on Friday had said he was suffering from stress-related “serious ill-health”.

He has also stepped away as chairman of Melbourne Health.

Doyle’s wife Emma Page Campbell has blasted the unfair treatment she believes her husband has received. Saying the 64-year-old is “on the brink of being broken”.

“I know my husband. I know his intentions, his character, his language, his manner,” she said in a statement.

“None of the allegations against him accord with the man I know.

“I have watched one of the strongest men I know brought to the brink of being broken.

I have watched one of the strongest men I know brought to the brink of being broken.

“He is a good and decent man… I love him. And because I love him, to watch and share what he has been through in the last seven weeks has been agony.

“I am disappointed that Robert has been given no benefit of the presumption of innocence – a resort to foregone conclusions, and with none of the protections afforded even to those accused of the most horrible crimes.”

His lawyer, K&L Gates partner Nick Ruskin, said Doyle feels as though he hasn’t been afforded the the presumption of innocence since the council’s independent external investigation led by Dr Ian Freckelton QC began in December.

“Following allegations seven weeks ago, he [Mr Doyle] has been through a period which he feels has lacked a semblance of natural justice, where the burden of proof does not rest with proving guilt, but rather proving innocence,” Ruskin said in a statement.

“He continues to strenuously deny the allegations made against him.”

Doyle has been accused of sexually inappropriate behaviour towards former councillor Tessa Sullivan, who resigned in December after 13 months in the post.

Sullivan claims Mr Doyle sexually harassed her on a number of occasions last year, including touching her breast inside a car after a council meeting.

He has also been accused of sexual harassment by Greens councillor Cathy Oke, and a third woman later claimed Doyle had touched her leg under a table and made offensive remarks to her at a Melbourne Health awards ceremony in 2016.

According to the Daily Mail, a number of guests at Doyle’s table that night claimed to have seen no such incidents.

Doyle denies all of the allegations.