Higgins testimony resumes after tearful day in court

Bruce Lehrmann's lawyer has taken aim at Brittany Higgins' credibility in his closing statement.

Bruce Lehrmann's lawyer has taken aim at Brittany Higgins' credibility in his closing statement. Photo: AAP

Brittany Higgins will return to give evidence in Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation trial after an emotional day where she broke down testifying in court.

Lawyers for ex-Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann will continue their interrogation of Brittany Higgins over her rape claim one day after she broke down in tears in the witness box.

Higgins faced heated questioning in the Federal Court on Thursday as part of Network Ten’s defence to claims a February 2021 report by The Project on her alleged Parliament House sexual assault were defamatory.

The rape allegedly occurred in the Parliament House office of Lehrmann and Ms Higgins’ then boss, Liberal senator Linda Reynolds, in the early hours of March 23, 2019.

Lehrmann denies any sexual intercourse or intimacy occurred.

His counsel Steven Whybrow SC grilled Ms Higgins on Thursday over claimed lies, false accounts or inconsistencies made in her statements to the police, media, her Parliament House bosses and to a criminal court jury.

Higgins has admitted to lying or being wrong about what she said happened but told the court this was as a result of her being traumatised by the alleged assault or being confused over the passage of time.

When he gave evidence in the defamation trial, Lehrmann also admitted making lies or false statements to what he claimed happened on the night, giving different versions of events to the cops, journalists and in court.

He was charged in August 2021 over the alleged rape but his criminal trial in the ACT Supreme Court was derailed by juror misconduct.

Prosecutors did not seek a second trial, citing concerns for Ms Higgins’ mental health.

A landmark report into the ACT legal system and the Higgins case in August made damning findings against former director of public prosecutions Shane Drumgold, which he has sought to challenge.

Lehrmann is also before Queensland courts accused of raping another woman twice in Toowoomba in October 2021.

He has not yet entered a plea, but his lawyers have indicated he denies the charges.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)
National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028

-with AAP

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