Mon. Apr 15th, 2024
alert-–-bruce-lehrmann-reveals-his-theory-about-how-brittany-higgins’s-dress-came-off-at-parliament-house-on-the-night-of-the-alleged-rapeAlert – Bruce Lehrmann reveals his theory about how Brittany Higgins’s dress came off at Parliament House on the night of the alleged rape

Bruce Lehrmann’s lawyers argue Brittany Higgins may have taken her own dress off in senator Linda Reynolds’ office, perhaps to avoid vomiting on it, as he maintains he did not rape his former parliamentary colleague, court documents have revealed. 

Justice Michael Lee is expected to in the coming months hand down his decision in the blockbuster defamation trial between Mr Lehrmann and Network 10, heard in the Federal Court in December.

Mr Lehrmann sued the network and journalist Lisa Wilkinson over their reporting of Ms Higgins’ allegations on The Project in February 2021.

Central to the trial is what occurred behind closed doors in Senator Reynolds’ office in the early hours of Saturday March 23, 2019 after Mr Lehrmann and Ms Higgins returned to parliament following a night of drinking at two Canberra bars.

In documents released by the court on Friday, Mr Lehrmann’s lawyers maintained that no sexual intercourse took place between the former political staffer and Ms Higgins.

Bruce Lehrmann is pictured outside the Federal Court in December last year

Bruce Lehrmann is pictured outside the Federal Court in December last year

Brittany Higgins wore a white pencil dress (pictured) on the night she alleges she was raped. Bruce Lehrmann is pictured standing next to her in a light blue shirt

Brittany Higgins wore a white pencil dress (pictured) on the night she alleges she was raped. Bruce Lehrmann is pictured standing next to her in a light blue shirt

‘Mr Lehmann submits that there is an insufficient evidentiary basis for a positive finding to be made that any sexual intercourse, consensual or otherwise, took place,’ Mr Lehrmann’s lawyers wrote in closing submissions.

Mr Lehrmann maintains that he did not rape Ms Higgins and went to Parliament House in the early morning to collect his keys and sat at his desk making notes on question time briefs before leaving.

According to his evidence, he turned left when he entered Senator Reynolds’ office and Ms Higgins turned right, and he did not see her again that night.

Ms Higgins has alleged that she passed out and woke to find Mr Lehrmann raping her on a couch in Senator Reynolds’ private office.

During her evidence, Ms Higgins told the court that she on several previous occasions made incorrect claims about the state of her dress when she woke up on the morning of the alleged sexual assault.

The court has been told that she had previously written in a draft book, and told police and journalists, that when she woke up inside parliament on the morning of March 23, 2019 the dress was hanging around her waist like a belt.

However, the court has been told that version of events was contradicted by the evidence of a security guard who said Ms Higgins was discovered naked.

Brittany Higgins is pictured, centre, outside the Federal Court in December last year

Brittany Higgins is pictured, centre, outside the Federal Court in December last year

Mr Lehrmann’s lawyers further argued there were ‘simply too many other plausible possibilities’ as to ‘why Ms Higgins was found naked in that office’ to allow Justice Lee to establish exactly what took place.

Mr Lehrmann’s lawyers argued that Ms Higgins may have taken off her dress because she may have felt sick and didn’t want to risk vomiting on it.

‘Another explanation is Ms Higgins may have vomited on her dress at some point and took it off before lying down on the minister’s couch and then passed out or fell asleep,’ Mr Lehrmann’s lawyers argued in the closing submissions.

‘In the morning she may or may not have attempted to wash off her dress in Minister Reynolds’ bathroom.’

They argue the ‘critical point’ is there are a number of ‘plausible explanations’ as to why Ms Higgins took her dress off.

However, Network 10’s lawyers argue that Ms Higgins had ruled out any theory that she took off the dress herself.

‘Ms Higgins did not accept that it was possible that she had removed her dress herself,’ they wrote in their closing submissions, which were also released on Friday.

Lisa Wilkinson is pictured, left, outside the Federal Court in December last year

Lisa Wilkinson is pictured, left, outside the Federal Court in December last year

‘The effect of her evidence was that she had no recollection of doing so and that it was just not something that would ever happen.’

They also sought to address inconsistencies between Ms Higgins’ evidence at her criminal trial and being found naked by the security guard.

During her evidence to the Federal Court, Ms Higgins conceded she was mistaken about where her dress was placed when she woke up.

‘In all the circumstances, the court should reject the three attacks on Ms Higgins’ credibility,’ Ten’s lawyers argued.

‘Notwithstanding the inconsistencies in her evidence that she frankly acknowledged, she was overall a candid and honest witness.’

They further argued that Ms Higgins’ evidence relating to the alleged sexual assault was ‘raw and compelling, and it was consistent with the objective evidence, where available’.

error: Content is protected !!