Inconsistencies in Brittany Higgins’ accusations that she was raped by a fellow Liberal staff member within Parliament House will be the subject of a third day of cross-examination in court.
Following an inebriated night out in Canberra in March 2019, Ms. Higgins claims that Bruce Lehrmann sexually assaulted her in the former defense minister’s office.
He has entered a not guilty plea to having sex without permission.
On Friday, Lehrmann’s defense attorney Steven Whybrow grilled Ms. Higgins during cross-examination in the ACT Supreme Court on how she acquired a $325,000 book deal prior to giving a formal statement to police.
Lisa Wilkinson’s journalist husband Peter FitzSimons allegedly recommended to Ms. Higgins that she write a biography about her experiences, and Ms. Higgins responded that she had already begun composing chapters.
In order to “bolster” her tale, Mr. Whybrow also suggested that Ms. Higgins lie to have medical appointments the week after the alleged attack.
Ms. Higgins had testified in court that despite scheduling several appointments with doctors, she was unable to get to them.
She told the court, “I meant to do the right thing, but every time I got home, I was falling and couldn’t get out of bed because I was so terribly unhappy since I had been abused at work by a coworker.”
Since she hadn’t engaged in any sexual activity on the night she claims she was raped, Mr. Whybrow questioned Ms. Higgins about why she didn’t see the doctor.
Nothing you are claiming at this time is truthful in the slightest, and Ms. Higgins found it to be quite offensive.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever had a trauma, but facing it head-on with specialists is a pretty tough thing to do,” the person said.
Ms. Higgins will also be questioned over her assertion that when she attempted to schedule a psychiatrist visit after the alleged rape, she was informed there was a two-month wait.
Ms. Higgins was informed by Mr. Whybrow that she had been given an earlier appointment within a month of her first inquiry, but she was unable to recollect it.
On the first phone conversation, they said two months, but I believe I may have escalated it at some point, she claimed.
She said that a psychiatrist appointment in Canberra “would not have been practicable” since she was due to travel for Perth to work on the election campaign with the then-defence industries minister Linda Reynolds.
When Ms. Higgins revived the case against Lehrmann in 2021, she was also questioned about why she took so long to give the police access to her phone.
She acknowledged that she had deleted certain texts and pictures showing herself with Liberal politicians or carrying alcohol from the phone, but she said that she wasn’t attempting to hide anything from the authorities.
She said that her goal was to purge some items from her life, not hide them from the police.
I no longer wanted to peruse the photos of politicians on my camera roll. I only want their removal.
It is anticipated that the experiment would last at least five more weeks.