Alleged rapist Bruce Lehrmann, who numerous women have accused of sexual harassment and/or assault, has instituted defamation proceedings against Channel 10, News Corp and journalists Lisa Wilkinson and Samantha Maiden.
Lehrmann is using the same law firm, Mark O’Brien Legal, that is accused of attempting to pervert the course justice and overseeing witness collusion etc while on Kerry Strokes’ payroll representing Ben Roberts-Smith in his defamation case against Nine Entertainment.
Lehrmann using lawyers who could end up in jail before they have a chance to represent him is not a good start but there are many landmines in his defamation case against Channel 10 and News Corp which I will briefly outline below.
I have published a number of articles regarding most, but not all, of the evidence against Ben Roberts-Smith, Kerry Stokes, Ryan Stokes, Bruce McWilliam, Seven’s Directors and their lawyers Mark O’Brien Legal attempting to pervert the course of justice in Roberts-Smith’s defamation case.
A recent article is titled “Nine accuse Ben Roberts-Smith of lying under oath, colluding with witnesses, intimidating witnesses and destroying evidence” (Click here to read) Click here and here for 2 previous articles with further evidence. The judge who heard the Ben Roberts-Smith defamation matter reserved his decision which should hopefully be handed down this year.
Who’s paying for Bruce Lehrmann’s legal fees to sue Channel 10 and News Corp? Is it Kerry Stokes and/or Seven West Media or a secret trust fund?
Channel 10 and News Corp will pay all their own legal bills, so Lisa Wilkinson and Samantha Maiden won’t pay anything which is how it normally works when media companies and their journalists are sued for defamation.
The below video has further information. (Click anywhere on the video to watch)
Other women have gone public with complaints against Bruce Lehrmann
On the 20th of February 2021 it was reported in an article titled “Second woman comes forward alleging she was sexually assaulted by same perpetrator as Brittany Higgins”: The second woman, who has not been identified, has told The Weekend Australian newspaper she is also a former Liberals staffer. She alleges the man raped her last year, after the pair had dinner and drinks. (Click here to read more)
On the 22nd of February 2021 it was reported in an article titled “Third woman alleges she was sexually assaulted by the same man accused of raping Brittany Higgins”: “A third woman has alleged she was sexually assaulted by the same former federal government advisor accused of raping former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins.” (Click here to read more)
Other women also came forward claiming sexual harassment by Bruce Lehrmann which was reported in the media.
After an investigation I published an article on the 27th of February 2021 titled “Were young women sexually assaulted when Bruce Lehrmann, the alleged parliament house rapist, was an official at the ANU UN conference?” which starts off:
“Bruce Lehrmann, the alleged parliament house rapist, was an official at the Australian National University (ANU) NCMUN annual conference in 2016 which was the year before new sexual assault and sexual harassment policies were introduced in 2017 for the NCMUN conference that seems to be related to what happened at the 2016 conference.” (Click here to read more)
The danger for Bruce Lehrmann with his defamation case is how many women will come forward to give evidence if Channel 10 and News Corp decide to run a truth defence. Lehrmann’s barrister might argue other women aren’t allowed to give evidence, but the damage would be done even if it only gets to that stage.
Will any of those women institute a criminal complaint or civil proceedings against Lehrmann? Lehrmann’s defamation case might encourage them to do so.
Brittany Higgins says she will give evidence to support a Truth defence
A timely reminder. https://t.co/BBT6EhXJHc— Brittany Higgins (@BrittHiggins_) February 7, 2023
If Brittany Higgins hops on the witness stand in any defamation case, it would have the effect of forcing Bruce Lehrmann to do the same. At that point, I think Lehrmann would withdraw the case.
Brittany Higgins could also institute a civil claim against Bruce Lehrmann which I think would be game set and match against Bruce Lehrmann given his reluctance to hop on the witness stand.
Channel Ten and News Corp will be allowed discovery and interrogatories
Channel Ten and News Corp, if they decide to defend the matter, will be allowed to send Bruce Lehrmann interrogatories (questions in writing) which he will be forced to answer. Without a doubt, they will be questions Lehrmann avoided answering by refusing to hop on the witness stand at the rape trial.
Channel Ten and News Corp will also be allowed to subpoena documents, phone records and text messages etc which might be damaging to Bruce Lehrmann’s case. But I suspect, given Lehrmann is using the same lawyers as Ben Roberts-Smith, he has likely recently burnt his laptop and USB sticks etc like Ben Roberts-Smith did.
Senator Linda Reynolds’ defamation claims
Senator Linda Reynolds, who is Bruce Lehrmann’s former boss, is also suing Brittany Higgins’ fiancé David Sharaz. “It is understood that Mr Sharaz does not plan to settle the case.”
Senator Reynolds has also “launched defamation action against publishing house HarperCollins and journalist Aaron Patrick, demanding a book detailing recent political controversies including Brittany Higgins’ rape allegations be pulled from the shelves.”
“Reynolds’ lawyers at high-profile Perth firm Bennett have filed a writ against the two parties in WA’s Supreme Court seeking aggravated damages over the contents of Patrick’s book, Ego: Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party’s Civil War.”
Linda Reynolds’ conduct during Bruce Lehrmann’s rape trial and her role in the cover-up will be exposed to at least some degree in the ACT Inquiry that has recently been announced. I think when that happens, she will withdraw one if not both defamation cases.
Both of Linda Reynolds’ defamation cases are frivolous and vexatious, to say the least, and no “serious harm” has been done to her reputation which is the new test you must prove in a defamation case.
ACT Inquiry – I will make submissions
The ACT Government has set up an inquiry to investigate allegations that Bruce Lehrmann’s rape trial was interfered with and undermined by ACT Police and others.
“The independent inquiry into the handling of the Bruce Lehrmann case has a broad enough remit to examine whether the investigation and trial were subject to political influence, according to ACT attorney-general Shane Rattenbury.”
The inquiry was prompted after explosive allegations about police conduct made by the director of public prosecutions, Shane Drumgold. (Click here to read Shane Drumgold’s letter of complaint)
I will be making submissions regarding my experience with the ACT media officer. (Click here to read more)
The ACT inquiry might also explore the defamation claims to some degree which would be interesting if it does.
The elephant in the room is a rumoured stick of dynamite that will go off sometime in the future which will do a lot of damage to Bruce Lehrmann’s and Linda Reynolds’ chances of success in their defamation cases. If the rumour is true, there is a suppression order so I won’t discuss it here but even if it’s not true Bruce Lehrmann will be a huge story in 2023 given the numerous court cases and inquiries associated with allegations against him.
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Categories: Kerry Stokes, Seven West Media
Reynolds has no integrity nor reputation to defend And speaking of Political interference Morrison started that with his speeches and snide accusations along with his lies whilst on the floor in Parliament
I’m not sure how Lehrmann can make a claim that his side of the story was not aired during the ACT trial, when he himself refused to stand up and tell it.
Great new chapter in this very public and sordid adventure into the morality and standards of the former government. Can you please confirm if MS Reynold’s legal cost are paid by her or the taxpayer?
I doubt the taxpayer would be.
Justice is about to come for all who have waited so long to see it all unfold. Canberra and all who go inside the building, hopefully this year 2023 will be their undoing. For all the media cannot wait to see your excuses this year.
Oh dear the Libs just sink to yet lower levels of morality and greater depths of depravity. Keep that whistle blowing. As is said “when good men do nothing”
Hence we have scum floating to the surface in all directions of the legal and political spectrums
Nearly every high profile defamation case I’ve heard of in the last few years has made the person bringing the case look worse than whatever was originally said about them. Lehrmann’s case is set to do the same.
Two things come to mind in these cases:
1) “the Streisand effect” and
2) the book QB VII in which:
“In the end, Kelno wins his case but is awarded one half-penny, the smallest coin of the realm, because his past actions were found to have been so bad that the minor inaccuracies in the book could not have damaged his reputation further.”