Girl forced to take virginity test before being married off to cousin, jury told
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Girl forced to take virginity test before being married off to cousin, jury told

The woman at the centre of a 60 Minutes Sydney defamation case has broken down while describing how she was forced to take a virginity test at a Jordan hospital when she was 13.

Nadia Tabbaa testified that despite telling the doctor she had not been with a man, the test purported to find she was not a virgin, leading to her being beaten by her father and brother Omar.

Nadia Tabbaa on the 2014 episode of 60 Minutes.

Nadia Tabbaa on the 2014 episode of 60 Minutes.

Photo: Channel 9

When she asked her brother to repeat her denial to their father, she said he replied: "He believes you because if he didn't you'd be dead".

The 29-year-old was giving evidence on Wednesday for the Nine Network, which is being sued by her parents, Mouhammad Tabbaa and his former wife Pamela Tabbaa, over a 60 Minutes program broadcast in 2014.

The judge told Mouhammad Tabbaa to "containt yourself" after he muttered loudly in court.

The judge told Mouhammad Tabbaa to "containt yourself" after he muttered loudly in court.

Photo: AAP
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In the interview, Ms Tabbaa said she was kidnapped at 13 while holidaying in Egypt, taken to live with her grandmother in Syria and forced to marry her older cousin before she escaped back to Sydney at 18.

During her evidence in the NSW Supreme Court, her father muttered loudly as Ms Tabbaa was giving details of the subjects she studied at a sharia school in Damascus.

Justice Des Fagan responded: "Hold your peace while the witness gives evidence.

"If you can't contain yourself I'll have you removed from the court."

Nadia's mother Pamela Tabbaa.

Nadia's mother Pamela Tabbaa.

Photo: AAP

Ms Tabbaa said while living in Sydney from age 8 to 13, her brother Omar regularly beat her with a belt, a kettle cord and thongs and was extremely abusive about the way she dressed.

He also abused her for going on sleepovers "in a house with strange men" and disapproved of her wearing swimming suits or leotards.

"Everything to him was sexualised," she said.

"Everything was very focused on chastity."

Ms Tabbaa said during her holiday in Egypt, she was told she would be taken to Jordan to see her father who had been living abroad and who she had not seen for a long time.

She was excited at seeing him because "as a little girl I did love my father".

But soon after her arrival, her father and Omar took her to a secluded paddock and interrogated her about her Sydney behaviour, asking about drugs, sleeping with men, running away from home and smoking.

They later told her "we have been planning this for months".

"They wanted me to be embarrassed as I had fallen for their trick" but she said she responded by saying she didn't care.

"My father spat on me," she said.

She had to live with her grandmother who "just hated me" and made her do all the household chores.

The grandmother regularly abused her saying: "You are lazy, you are spoiled, you are a donkey".

When an uncle dangled her over a balcony, her grandmother said: "he'll do it (drop her) and when they do the autopsy they will see you are not a virgin so he won't be arrested or go to jail".

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AAP

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