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Revealed: How Bruce Lehrmann has already pocketed $500k from a trial that's yet to finish

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Bruce Lehrmann has had almost half a million dollars of legal bills covered under two settlements over media reports airing Brittany Higgins’ rape allegations.

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The details were revealed late on Wednesday as two settlement deeds were made publicly available by the Federal Court.

The ABC has agreed to pay a total of $150,000 towards Lehrmann’s legal costs and remove a Facebook video of a joint speech by Ms Higgins and 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame at the National Press Club in 2022.

The agreement also requires the ABC not to reinstate a YouTube video of the speech.

News.com.au has paid $295,000 to Lehrmann to cover his legal bills, with the publisher agreeing to insert an editor’s note on articles published in February 2021 regarding the Higgins’ allegation.

“News.com.au notes that a criminal charge of sexual assault was brought against Mr Lehrmann and later dropped,” the note reads.

“News.com.au does not suggest that Mr Lehrmann was guilty of that charge.”

The documents were revealed ahead of the 10th day in Lehrmann’s defamation trial against Network Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson where further witnesses are expected to help the broadcaster defend the case.

The ex-Liberal staffer has claimed he was defamed and his reputation destroyed by a February 2021 report on The Project.

Ms Wilkinson interviewed Ms Higgins about her allegation she was sexually assaulted by Lehrmann in the Parliament House office of their then-boss, Senator Linda Reynolds, in the early hours of March 23, 2019.

Lehrmann has denied this happened, claiming that no sexual contact or intimacy occurred between them.

On Thursday, Nikola Anderson and Mark Fairweather, the security guards who let the two Liberal staffers into Parliament House about 1.30am, will take the stand.

Following them will be Senator Reynolds’ former aide de camp Nikita Irvine and Ms Higgins’ friend Ben Dillaway, who she confided in about the alleged rape.

Lehrmann was charged in August 2021 over the alleged rape, but his criminal trial in the ACT Supreme Court was derailed by juror misconduct.

Prosecutors did not seek a second trial, citing concerns for Ms Higgins’ mental health.

Lehrmann is also before Queensland courts accused of raping another woman twice in Toowoomba in October 2021.

He has not yet entered a plea, but his lawyers have indicated he denies the charges.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028

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