Liberal frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull has supported Labor leader Bill Shorten's decision to publicly front up to "very, very painful" rape allegations from almost 30 years ago.
Mr Turnbull said Mr Shorten did the right thing in raising the damaging allegations, which have been investigated by police and won't be pursued further.
"I think Bill Shorten made the right decision," the communications minister told the Nine Network on Friday.
"It would be very, very painful to feel you are the subject of an unjust accusation."
When Mr Turnbull was a young lawyer he defended the late Kerry Packer, who in 1984 was caught up in the Costigan royal commission into organised crime in NSW.
The media mogul, dubbed "Goanna" in reports, was wrongly accused of being involved in drug trafficking and tax evasion.
"Kerry Packer did the same thing," Mr Turnbull said, referring to Mr Packer's decision to front the allegations head-on.
"You've got to nail these things."
Deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek said her leader decided to draw a line under the events.
"It is good that he can," Ms Plibersek said.
"It has been really stressful."
Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the allegations as "a personal matter from many years ago".
When asked whether Mr Shorten had done the right thing by going public, he told ABC radio in Adelaide: "Obviously, when something like that is swirling around in the ether, sometimes it's best to deal with it openly and he's done what he thinks best."