Bruce Lehrmann trial: Court hears ex-liberal staffer convicted of ‘millions of defamation’
- Mr. Lehrmann was charged with sexual intercourse without consent in August 2021.
- Higgins accused Lehrman of raping her in former Minister Linda Reynolds’ office at the Houses of Parliament.
- In February, Lehrmann filed a defamation lawsuit based on reports from Network Ten and News Corp.
This article contains rape allegations, which may be distressing to some readers.
Before being charged with sexual assault, former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrman said he could get “millions of defamation” over media reports of Brittany Higgins’ alleged rape.
Lehrmann sent his then-girlfriend a WhatsApp message ahead of The Project’s segment on February 15, 2021, and spoke with attorney Warwick Korn before mentioning the potential payment.
“If I were named tonight,[Mr. Cohn]would say I accept millions of dollars in defamation,” he wrote.
In a message read out in federal court on Thursday, he said he was confident no criminal charges would be filed against him.
“Criminals are completely insane,” he said.
After a police investigation, Mr. Lehrman was charged with sexual intercourse without consent in August 2021.
Ms. Higgins accused Mr. Lehrman of raping her in former Minister Linda Reynolds’s Houses of Parliament in 2019.
After his trial, a juror was dismissed last October for jury misconduct. announced.
In February, Lehmann filed a defamation lawsuit against Network Ten and News Corp, which reported in February 2021 allegations of rape by a former colleague.
Former Ten journalist Lisa Wilkinson and The News’ political editor Samantha Maiden are also named in the lawsuit.
The parties appeared in court on Thursday to hear Lehrmann’s request for an extension to file a defamation lawsuit. Usually, he has one year to file a lawsuit from a publication for alleged defamation.
Mr. Lehrmann alleges that criminal proceedings, legal advice he received from Mr. Korn, and his own mental health prevented him from starting the case early.
Wilkinson Counsel Sue Chrysanthou SC said there was a discrepancy between the message Lehrmann sent about Mr Korn’s advice and what Mr Lehrmann told his attorney Paul Svilans, the lead counsel in the defamation case. rice field.
Lehrmann gave evidence from the witness stand, was suspended from his job at British American Tobacco after a news story about the rape allegations was published in February 2021, and immediately turned to Korn for advice on pressing criminal matters. He said he had contacted Mr.
He said his lawyer had told him to postpone the defamation lawsuit before the criminal case was resolved, and admitted the topic had been discussed.
“For sure, I was furious with what I saw,” he told judge Michael Lee.
Despite telling his girlfriend he was going to pay “millions of dollars” for defamation, he said he didn’t take this advice from Cohn and was just trying to calm his upset partner. Stated.
“I was soothing (her) because she was distraught,” he said under cross-examination by Ten’s barrister, Dr. Matthew Collins KC.
“Actually, in a sense, he had a brave face.”
Lawyers for Ten and News believed Lehrmann would not be prosecuted when he spoke with Korn, so it was unreasonable to wait so long to file a defamation lawsuit. I claim.
Mr. Lehrmann’s bills filed in these lawsuits allege that the reports harmed Mr. Lehrmann’s personal reputation.
Lehmann has consistently denied the allegations, and in court, after “intense media scrutiny”, he was checked into North Shore Hospital before leaving his home in Sydney and moving to Toowoomba with his mother.
Defense attorneys for Ten, News and Wilkinson say they will prove the sexual assault allegations to be true.
Federal court hearings are ongoing.
If you’re having trouble with this story, help is available on the Lifeline (13 11 14).
If you or someone you know wants to talk about sexual assault, harassment, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or In case of emergency, please call 000.
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/bruce-lehrmann-reportedly-told-girlfriend-he-could-get-millions-in-defamation-from-media-reports-court-hears/gfh1ub8pq Bruce Lehrmann trial: Court hears ex-liberal staffer convicted of ‘millions of defamation’