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    ‘Unmitigated disaster for Bruce Lehrmann’: Lisa Wilkinson, 10, and 10’s lawyers on defamation win

    Lisa Wilkinson has said she hopes her and 10’s win in the defamation case Bruce Lehrmann brought against them “gives strength to women around the country.”

    Speaking outside the court after Justice Michael Lee dismissed Lehrmann’s case, Wilkinson told reporters, “The Federal Court has found that I published a true story about a rape in a Federal Minister’s office at Parliament House in March of 2019. I sincerely hope that this judgment gives strength to women around the country.”

    She also thanked people outside the courtroom for their support, saying she was grateful for “all the generous members of the public who have approached me almost every single day, to express – often through tears – their unwavering support.”

    One of Network 10’s solicitors, Justin Quill, also spoke to reporters outside of the court, confirming he was “confident that any appeal would be dismissed,” and that the result was “an unmitigated disaster for Bruce Lehrmann.”

    “It’s a warning to all other potential applicants or plaintiffs, who might want to try and reinvent history or make a quick buck, who might want to come to court and con the court with their version of events,” Quill said.

    “You can come up with a con that might get you through a TV interview, or an interview with your boss, or down at the pub with your mates. But when you come to the court, and you are cross-examined, and forensicly examined, you can’t get away with it. This case is not just a loss for Bruce Lehrmann, it’s a win for the public interest.”

    Earlier in the day, while reading a lengthy summary of his judgment, Justice Michael Lee suggested Lehrmann should have counted the impact Wilkinson’s Logies speech had on delaying his criminal trial as a win, and left it at that instead of suing Network 10 and Wilkinson for defamation.

    As Lee put it: “Having escaped the lion’s den, Mr Lehrmann made the mistake of coming back for his hat.”

    In its statement responding to the verdict, 10 called the result “a triumph for truth”.

    “Network 10 is considering Justice Lee’s 324-page judgment. It is clear however that Australia’s defamation laws remain highly restrictive,” the company said.

    “Network 10 remains firmly committed to honest, fair and independent journalism; to holding those in power to account; to giving people a voice who wouldn’t otherwise have one; and to always pursuing without fear or favour, journalism that is firmly in the public interest.”

    Lehrmann lost his defamation case today after Justice Lee found Lehrmann raped Brittany Higgins on the balance of probabilities.

    Lehrmann had sued 10 and Wilkinson over a February 2021 interview with Higgins that aired on The Project. In the interview, Higgins made the allegation that she had been raped in an office at Parliament House.

    Justice Lee agreed with Lehrmann’s lawyers that Lehrmann was identifiable in The Project interview, so his decision turned to whether 10 and Wilkinson could successfully rely on a truth defence.

    While Justice Lee was critical of 10, Wilkinson, and Higgins at various points in his judgment, he ultimately determined on the balance of probabilities that Lehrmann did rape Higgins, meaning 10 and Wilkinson established their defence of truth.

    See Also: Bruce Lehrmann loses defamation case against 10 and Lisa Wilkinson

    Top Image: Lisa Wilkinson leaves the Federal Court with her barrister Sue Chrysanthou

    The post ‘Unmitigated disaster for Bruce Lehrmann’: Lisa Wilkinson, 10, and 10’s lawyers on defamation win appeared first on Mediaweek.

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