Judgment day set again for Lehrmann defamation case

Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehmann claims he was defamed by Network Ten.

Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehmann claims he was defamed by Network Ten. Photo: Getty

Bruce Lehrmann is once again counting down the days until judgment is delivered in his defamation case against Network Ten after the trial was sensationally reopened at the last minute.

Justice Michael Lee had been set to hand down one of the most anticipated judgments in the nation on April 4, but postponed it until Monday after Ten brought in new evidence regarding Lehrmann’s 2023 Spotlight interview with the Seven Network.

The judge reopened the case and last week heard allegations Lehrmann abused the processes of the court by leaking private, confidential texts from Brittany Higgins ahead of his interview.

Higgins alleges Lehrmann raped her in a Parliament House office in March 2019 while the pair were working for Liberal senator Linda Reynolds.

He denies the allegation and a criminal trial was abandoned in 2022 due to juror misconduct, leaving no findings against him.

During the reopened trial heard last week, ex-Seven producer Taylor Auerbach claimed he saw Lehrmann buying cocaine and ordering sex workers in a Sydney hotel paid for by the network.

In an affidavit, Auerbach said Lehrmann sent him messages between Higgins and a former boyfriend, and later messages between her and journalist Peter FitzSimons.

These texts made up part of a confidential police file offered to Lehrmann during the criminal trial and for which he gave an implicit promise not to use for any other purpose, the court heard.

In his case against Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson (who is married to FitzSimons), the former Liberal staffer claims he was defamed by a February 2021 interview on The Project with Higgins.

He is seeking substantial damages, saying his reputation was ruined.

However, lawyers for Ten and Wilkinson have argued Lehrmann is a liar whose credibility was shot and who abused the processes of the court because of the leaked material and false claims.

Lifeline 131 114

Fullstop Australia 1800 385 578


Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.