Bruce Lehrmann files defamation lawsuit against ABC

Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann has hit the ABC with a defamation lawsuit, continuing his attack against media firms who reported on rape claims made by Brittany Higgins.

Apr 06, 2023, updated Apr 06, 2023
Photo: AAP/Dean Lewins

Photo: AAP/Dean Lewins

Lehrmann filed the case against the ABC in the Federal Court on Wednesday, almost two months after he hit Channel Ten and News Life Media, the firm behind, with similar lawsuits.

Higgins accused Lehrmann of raping her inside the Parliament House office of then minister Linda Reynolds, who they both worked for in March 2019.

He denies the allegation, maintaining the pair never had any sexual interaction.

A criminal trial brought against Lehrmann in the ACT Supreme Court was derailed in October because of juror misconduct. In December, the prosecutor dropped the charges due to impacts a second trial would have on Higgins’ mental health.

The law student’s cases against Ten and News relate to reports in February 2021 on The Project and regarding the rape allegations.

Former host of The Project, Lisa Wilkinson, and political editor, Samantha Maiden, are both named in the lawsuits.

The media firms and Wilkinson are trying to shut the cases down, arguing they were filed outside of a 12-month window typically required for defamation suits.

Lehrmann argues he could not have filed the cases sooner because of the criminal charges, legal advice and for mental health reasons.

Sydney law firm Mark O’Brien Legal is representing him in all three defamation proceedings.


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