Bruce Lehrmann defamation case back in court

Bruce Lehrmann defamation case back in court

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Allegations that Bruce Lehrmann lied about leaking confidential texts and was reimbursed by the Seven Network for drugs, sex workers and massages will be examined by a Federal Court judge.

Justice Michael Lee has been poised to deliver his final judgment as the 28-year-old sues Network Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson for defamation.

But the court will instead hear fresh evidence today from former Seven producer Taylor Auerbach about a Spotlight interview in which Lehrmann denied claims he raped Brittany Higgins in a Parliament House office in March 2019.

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Bruce Lehrmann outside court.

After a successful last-minute bid by Ten, Auerbach is expected to testify in court that Lehrmann leaked confidential texts from Higgins to Seven in breach of what is known as the Harman undertaking.

The former Liberal staffer gained access to the private and personal texts through the abandoned criminal case against him, but the material was not tendered into evidence.

In affidavits filed with the court, Auerbach claimed Lehrmann supplied Seven with material on a paid golf trip to Tasmania as well as at a property rented for the ex-staffer by the network in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

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Auerbach also said Seven paid tens of thousands of dollars to Lehrmann, including reimbursing him for “illicit drugs and prostitutes” and covering costs for expensive dinners, plane flights and accommodation.

Seven has denied Auerbach’s allegations, labelling them “false and misleading”.

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Brittany Higgins outside court.

The new evidence will be considered by Justice Lee when determining Lehrmann’s credibility and whether he previously lied in court when denying that he supplied Higgins’ texts to Seven.

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The 28-year-old also rejects that anything sexual happened between himself and Higgins.

He is seeking substantial damages from Ten claiming a report aired on The Project in February 2021 regarding Higgins’ alleged sexual assault ruined his reputation.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028

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