The Streisand Effect is named after Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to suppress a photographer’s publication of a photograph, taken to document coastal erosion in California, which showed her clifftop residence in Malibu, California inadvertently drew far greater attention to the previously obscure photograph.

And it is photographs that Fijian Minister Lynda Tabuya is trying to hide after they were revealed in a tell-all story about her steamy “brutal” affair involving drugs and booze with another minister in Sitiveni Rabuka’s teetering Government: Aseri Radrodro.

Now she is trying to portray herself as the victim after her steamy photos turned heads in Fiji.

Fiji’s Women and Children’s Minister Lynda Tabuya says Pacific island countries need to “strengthen our laws” on online harassment.

Tabuya spoke to RNZ Pacific on the sidelines of the Pacific Women in Power forum taking place in Auckland this week.

She said the issue that she was dealing with – which is allegations of a sex and drug scandal between her and a former cabinet minister Aseri Radrodro – was currently with the police.

“[Police] are investigating it,” she said.

“And it just so happens that a person who was causing this harassment online lives in Sydney,” she said.

She said she was able to get the assistance of Australia’s online safety watchdog to issue the notice to the person to take down the content – images – because it is a crime in Australia, as we [sic] as in Fiji.

“If you put up content that is or appears to be the person, so then the person [who published it] needs to take the content down otherwise they can face prosecution,” she said.

“That was the process I followed and I’m grateful to the Safety Commissioner of Australia for the swift action.”


I happen to know who published those photos: it is my good mate and fellow Kaiviti (Fiji born), Graham Davis. But he wasn’t the first to publish the photos; that honour goes to Victor Lal from the Fiji Leaks website.

Both Graham Davis and Victor Lal also published the sordid text messages between Tabuya and Radrodro explicitly describing a “brutal” sex session between the two that occurred on an official Government visit to Australia.

In Fiji Tabuya denies the photos are of her, bizarrely claiming that they are fake news and AI generated, but to overseas audiences and authorities she has claimed ownership of them and saying she didn’t give permission for them to be published. The two positions are hardly compatible. But that’s Fijian politics for you.

And so Lynda Tabuya is trying to massage her public image in Australia and New Zealand with a tissue of lies that only serve to highlight the precarious position she and Rabuka’s Government find themselves in after the photos were accessed from his own phone to Victor Lal and Graham Davis.

Just like Barbara Streisand, this attempt by Tabuya isn’t working and now everyone in New Zealand knows about her “brutal” and drug- and booze-fuelled sex session with Aseri Radrodro.

The more she tries to hide, the more we want to know why.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news,...