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Former AFL star Dani Laidley has received a payout from Victoria Police after an officer secretly took her photo in custody and sent it viral.
The settlement comes almost two years after two images of the former AFL player and coach wearing a wig and make-up made their way onto social media.
Dani Laidley has settled with Victoria Police after the leaking of her images in custody
Dani Laidley during a photo shoot with the Herald Sun last year
This secretly-taken photo of AFL great Dani Laidley was allegedly shared among Victoria Police officers just months after the first went viral
Laidley had launched a negligence claim against Victoria Police alleging the force and its officers had breached the duty of care owed to her while in custody.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted both Laidley and Victoria Police for comment.
The amount of the settlement remains a mystery.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman told The Age the settlement would remain a secret.
‘By agreement of both parties to the litigation, the terms of settlement are confidential. As per standard process, any discipline proceedings relevant to the members charged criminally will follow the conclusion of those criminal matters,’ the police spokeswoman told the publication.
Three police officers were charged over the leak of the photographs.
Earlier this month, a magistrate dismissed the case against Detective Leading Senior Constable Murray Gentner on a legal technicality, finding the prosecution failed to establish that the officer had a duty to not disclose the information about Laidley.
Magistrate Samantha Poulter said the disclosure of Laidley’s images did not impede crime prevention, detection or pursuit of offenders.
Dani Laidley took on Victoria Police after her images went viral
Policeman Murray Gentner (left) arrives at court in March. He was cleared of any wrong doing related to the Laidley leak
‘On that basis, I find that the prosecution has not established a legal duty existed not to disclose the information in those circumstances,’ she said.
Senior Constable Gentner had pleaded not guilty to misconduct in public office, accessing a police database without reasonable excuse and four charges of disclosing police information without reasonable excuse.
Two other co-accused will face hearings later this year.
Victoria Police’s internal discipline board ordered 11 officers, ranging in rank from constable to sergeant, to pay up to $3,000 to Laidley out of their own pockets.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton had apologised to Laidley directly after the photos went viral.
Commissioner Patton said he was ‘appalled’ that a Victoria Police officer had taken the photos.
‘It’s not an authorised photograph and should not have been taken,’ he said at the time.
‘It’s unacceptable conduct.’
Dani Laidley recently attended the Sydney Mardi Gras with partner Donna Leckie
Laidley (second from right) returned to the kangaroos last November
Laidley had endured a second shameful photo sharing ordeal by Victoria Police officers just six months after she launched her initial court action.
A group of Victoria Police officers reportedly shared a picture of the 54-year-old on a day out at Geelong Racecourse for the Ballan Cup in May.
The force said it was not investigating that image as it had not received any specific complaints about the officers involved.
Laidley has worked hard to turn her life around since she was arrested in 2020 for stalking a woman.
She recently returned to the North Melbourne Football Club, where she was a 1996 premiership player and coached from 2003 to 2009, and has become a powerful advocate for transgender issues.
Laidley, who has officially changed her name to Danielle May, has made no secret she is in the process of writing a book about her life.
Since thrust back onto the big stage, Laidley has taken giant leaps to support others who are experiencing a taste of what she has endured.
‘I hope to stop discrimination against younger transgender people and families of transgender people. Life without barriers,’ she wrote on Instagram.
‘Don’t be ashamed of your story, it may just inspire someone else.’