Jayne Gersbach admits ice use in sex abuse lawsuit against her father Rodney Gersbach

Court case: Jayne Gersbach at the NSW Supreme Court on Monday. Picture: Ben Rushton
Court case: Jayne Gersbach at the NSW Supreme Court on Monday. Picture: Ben Rushton

In 2006, Jayne Gersbach​ was having problems knowing "what was real and what were dreams".

It was that year she went to police to report alleged sexual abused by her father, Sydney solicitor Rodney Gersbach​, but he was not charged.

The NSW Supreme Court has heard Ms Gersbach also sent a letter to the attorney-general with complaints about her father, writing: "I have dreams rather than nightmares and find it very difficult to tell the difference between dreams and reality."

Ms Gersbach, 34, is suing her father for aggravated damages, alleging he repeatedly sexually and physically assaulted her when she was aged between about four and 19. Her father denies the allegations.

Under cross-examination from Mr Gersbach's barrister, Greg McNally, SC, Ms Gersbach acknowledged she smoked the drug ice in the past, threw a rock through her parents' window, stole her mother's jewellery, and was "in and out" of the family home, sometimes hospitalised for eating disorders.

She denied telling her mother she had a flashback where she'd seen her father's face on a boyfriend during sex, after smoking drugs.

"That flashback that you talk of was simply a dream?" Mr McNally asked.

"No." Ms Gersbach replied.

Mr McNally asked if she remembered searching for pictures of animals on the internet, and telling her mother she thought she was a farm animal.

"No. I remember saying ... that I was a dog because I was treated like a dog," Ms Gersbach said.

Ms Gersbach said she remembered the alleged abuse when she was in her late teens, but denied being unsure about whether it had actually happened.

"I would suggest to you that you were trying to find some sort of answer as to why it was that you were suffering from bulimia and the like?" Mr McNally asked.

"No," Ms Gersbach said.

"Since your childhood you've hated your father, haven't you?"

"I didn't always hate him."

"From when you were a teenager, you've wanted to punish your father, haven't you?"


"That search for some explanation led you to wrongly believe your father sexually abused you?"


Ms Gersbach told the court therapy helped her understand what allegedly happened to her, and that she related to the book The Courage To Heal, about child sex abuse survivors.

In her statement of claim, Ms Gersbach alleges Mr Gersbach "failed to care ... as a father should", "failed to respect his position of trust" and "failed to act in [her] interests".

The hearing continues before Justice Peter Garling​