Bruce Lehrmann has hired one of Australia’s top defamation lawyers to go after Lisa Wilkinson, the ABC, The Project, and other media outlets for their coverage of Brittany Higgins’ trial.
The news of the defamation lawsuits comes just days after it was announced that Higgins’ case against Lehrmann would be dropped.
Sydney defamation lawyer Mark O’Brien, whose law firm represented Ben Roberts-Smith VC in his defamation battle with Fairfax/Nine newspapers, has confirmed on Wednesday that he has now joined the former Liberal staffer’s legal team.
Lawyers examine a large volume of media reports and public speeches over the last two years, including Higgins’ address at the National Press Club alongside former Australian of the Year Grace Tame earlier this year.
Mr Lehrmann was not named in original media reports but his legal team are examining whether he was nevertheless able to be identified, giving him grounds to sue for defamation of his character.
The former Liberal staffer was not named until August, 2021 when he was charged by police with one count of sex without consent.
He pleaded not guilty, and has always maintained his innocence throughout the high profile case.
The Sydney law firm O’Brien Legal is examining the original interview broadcast by The Project and Lisa Wilkinson’s public statement about the case and potential respondents including producers of The Project, Roving Enterprises, owned by comedian Rove McManus; and Network Ten and its parent company Paramount.
Consideration is also being given to media outlets that broadcast live or published in full Ms Higgins statement outside court following the collapse of the first trial based on juror misconduct.
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This article first appeared on OverSixty.