Bruce Lehrmann said he could get 'millions in defamation', court hears
Before being charged with sexual assault, former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann said he could obtain "millions in defamation" over media reports about the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins.
Lehrmann sent text messages on February 15, 2021, to his girlfriend regarding the potential payout after speaking with solicitor Warwick Korn.
"If I'm named tonight then I'm up for millions in defamation," he wrote.
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In the messages, which were read out in the Federal Court on Thursday, he expressed confidence there would be no criminal charges brought against him.
"Criminal is off the cards completely," he said.
After a police investigation, Lehrmann was charged with sexual intercourse without consent in August 2021.
Higgins accused Lehrmann of raping her in the Parliament House office of former minister Linda Reynolds, who they both worked for, in 2019.
After the trial, the jury was discharged in October last year following juror misconduct.
Prosecutors announced they would no longer pursue the charges in December, citing concerns for Higgins' mental health.
In February, Lehrmann launched defamation action against Network Ten and News Corp for their February 2021 coverage of rape allegations made by his former colleague.
Former Ten journalist Lisa Wilkinson and News political editor Samantha Maiden are also named in the lawsuits.
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Statements of claim for Lehrmann filed in the defamation action said his personal reputation had been damaged by the allegations.
Lehrmann has consistently denied the allegations.
In their defences, Ten, News and Wilkinson say they will prove the truth of the sexual assault allegations.
Support is available from the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service at 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).
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