Bruce Lehrmann, a former Liberal Party staff member, has sued Channel 10 and News Life Media for defamation after he was accused of rape by Brittany Higgins.
In two separate interviews, which were conducted on February 15, 2021, Ms. Higgins said that on March 23, 2019, a male colleague raped her inside Parliament House.
During the interviews, Mr. Lehrmann was publicly identified as the individual who raped Ms. Higgins.
He was charged on August 7, 2021, and his trial was scheduled to start in June 2022. After winning the Logie award for her coverage of the incident, Lisa Wilkinson thanked Ms. Higgins.
Due to the controversy surrounding Wilkinson’s statements, the trial was delayed. On October 4, 2022, the trial started, and Mr. Lehrmann pleaded not guilty.
On October 25, 2022, the case was declared a deadlock after the judge, Lucy McCallum, received a message from the jury stating that they were unable to reach a verdict.
After the jury failed to reach a verdict, Justice McCallum asked the members of the jury to retire.
However, on October 27, 2022, they were discharged after it was revealed that one of them had looked at materials that were not presented during the trial.
On December 2, 2022, the Director of Public Prosecutions of the ACT, Shane Drumgold, informed the public that the sexual assault charge would be dropped against Mr. Lehrmann.
He said that due to the safety of the complainant, the charge would be withdrawn.
It’s not surprising that Mr. Lehrmann has filed two defamation claims.
He has maintained his innocence and has hired Mark O’Brien of Mark O’Brien Legal in Sydney.
There are still no details about the two defamation claims that Mr. Lehrmann has filed.
However, it’s known that he has filed multiple documents, including a statement of claim and an originating application.
Ms. Higgins has not made an official statement regarding his claims. On December 7, 2022, she posted a picture of a Tweet she had made.
In her Tweet, she stated that she would be willing to defend the truth in any legal proceedings that Mr. Lehrmann might bring against her.