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Old 07-12-23, 05:41   #5
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Movies Re: Bruce Lehrmann, Accused of RAPE Settles ONE Defamation Claim-$295,000

News Corp Agreed to Pay Bruce Lehrmann $295,000 to Settle Defamation Claim, Court Documents Reveal

Payment revealed after ABC agreed to pay him $150,000 and remove Facebook video of Brittany Higgins and Grace Tame speech at National Press Club


The Guardian 6 DEC 2023







News Corp agreed to pay Bruce Lehrmann $295,000 to drop a defamation suit he brought over a news.com.au article in which Brittany Higgins alleged she had been raped by a Liberal staffer in Parliament House, according to documents filed in the federal court.


The News Corp financial settlement brings to $445,000 the total amount Lehrmann has received towards his legal costs after the ABC agreed to pay $150,000 in an out-of-court settlement last month.

The 2021 article by Samantha Maiden, headlined “Young Staffer Brittany Higgins says she was raped at Parliament House”, was the first time the allegations had been aired in the media but did not name Lehrmann.

The deed also specifies the ABC agrees not to reinstate the YouTube video of the same event.

Lehrmann was not named in the press club address, but he alleged he was readily identifiable.

The ABC deed was signed on 21 November, the day before the defamation trial started last month. In a statement on 22 November, the ABC described the settlement as mutual.

“The proceedings have settled on mutually acceptable, confidential terms, without admission of liability,” the statement said.

The $150,000 included $7,000 to be paid to solicitors acting for ABC broadcaster Laura Tingle, who hosted the event and is the NPC president, to cover the costs incurred by Lehrmann relating to Tingle’s compliance with a subpoena to produce documents in the case.

The remaining $143,000 was paid to Lehrmann’s solicitor’s trust account as a contribution towards his legal costs.






Bruce Lehrmann is Suing Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson For Defamation

Lehrmann Proceedings Day 10 – as It Happened


Lehrmann is currently suing Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson for defamation over an interview with Higgins broadcast on The Project and online which did not name him but alleged she had been raped by a Liberal staffer in 2019. Brittany Higgins had volunteered to be a defamation trial witness as she ‘would not let rapist become a millionaire’


What we heard in court today;

The defence called a number of witnesses this afternoon who Network Ten’s barrister, Matt Collins KC, said would support Brittany Higgins’ version of events.

Bruce Lehrmann is suing Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson for defamation over an interview with Higgins broadcast on The Project and online which did not name him but alleged she had been raped by a Liberal staffer in 2019.

Lehrmann has denied raping Higgins and pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual intercourse without consent. His criminal trial was abandoned due to juror misconduct and the second did not proceed due to prosecutors’ fears for Higgins’ mental health.

Here’s what we heard this afternoon:


Justice Michael Lee ruled that details of ABC and News Corp’s settlements with Lehrmann over his defamation claims will be released.




Austin Wenke arrives at the federal court in Sydney




Austin Wenke, a former media adviser to Peter Dutton, agreed with the suggestion of Lehrmann’s barrister, Steve Whybrow SC, that it was “an open secret” in Parliament House that Lehrmann was the subject of the media reports.

“So in my own mind I concluded, what I understood to be the inference from the story, which was an allegation against him … against Mr Lehrmann,” Wenke told the court.

The Liberal staffer Lauren Gain told the court that the day after she left Higgins and Lehrmann at 88mph bar in Canberra she sent a message to a colleague saying Higgins and Lehrmann “hooked up”.

Gain also said that Higgins and Lehrmann had been “touchy with one another” and had been “kissing” on the night Higgins claims she was raped.

Read more about what was said this morning here


In December prosecutors dropped charges against Lehrmann for the alleged rape of Higgins, saying a retrial would pose an “unacceptable risk” to her health.
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