A photo of a large bruise on Brittany Higgins’ leg was taken 11 days after she claimed to have been raped by Bruce Lehrmann, the former political staffer said in a legal statement obtained exclusively by Daily Mail Australia.
Ms Higgins’ signed the affidavit as part of The Project’s news-gathering process ahead of her interview with Lisa Wilkinson which aired on February 15, 2021, when she first made her accusations against Mr Lehrmann, without naming him.
The legal statement emerged after Mr Lehrmann first spoke out on Sunday night’s Channel Seven’s Spotlight programme, claiming the photo was a “fabrication.”
At the trial last year, Ms. Higgins was chastised over the photo of the bruise on her right thigh and firmly denied fabricating her allegations against Mr. Lehrmann, saying, “I’m not a monster.”
In her legal statement, Ms Higgins said the bruise was caused by Mr Lehrmann when he allegedly raped her in the early hours of March 23, 2019. He has always denied the allegations.
Brittany Higgins is photographed during her interview on The Project in February 2021 – when she first went public with her allegations against Bruce Lehrmann
This photo of a bruise on Ms Higgins’ leg aired on The Project in February 2021. Mr Lehrmann claimed the image was ‘made up’ or ‘a bruise from much later’
In the statement – which was upheld by a Brisbane justice of the peace on 10 February 2021 – Ms Higgins said she took the photo of her bruised thigh on 3 April 2019 – 11 days after the alleged assault.
Mrs. Higgins initialed the document in two places and signed her name at the bottom.
The statement read: ‘The photograph of the bruise on my leg, which I referred to in the interview, is also attached to and forms part of my legal statement.
“The photo in Appendix B shows the bruise on my leg caused by Bruce Lehrmann during the rape and assault that took place in Secretary Reynolds’ office on March 22-23, 2019.
“I took the photo with my iPhone in Appendix B on April 3, 2019.”
Anyone who knowingly makes a false statement in a legal statement could face up to four years in prison.
Ms Higgins said in the legal statement that she did not lie or misrepresent the truth at any stage of the interview.
Pictured: A legal statement signed by Ms Higgins on February 10, 2021, claiming the photo of the bruise was taken 11 days after the alleged attack
Furthermore, the the same photo was shown to ACT’s Supreme Court last year during Mr Lehrmann’s criminal trial – after investigating officers extracted the contents of her phone to conduct a metadata analysis.
The court heard that experts couldn’t find evidence of the photo on her phone before January 2021 — just weeks before her televised interview was taped. Experts also said she had not mentioned the image in posts before February 2021.
The photo of the bruise was also featured in an extended episode of 7News Spotlight on Sunday night, in which Mr Lehrmann broke his media silence over the alleged assault.
Spotlight host Liam Bartlett told Mr. Lehrmann, “This bruise suggested in no uncertain terms that you pinned her.”
Mr. Lehrmann interjected, “Well, it was made up.”
“That’s the only explanation, is it made up or is it a bruise from much later.”
At Mr Lehrmann’s trial last year, Ms Higgins responded to a cross-examination by Mr Lehrmann’s lawyer, Steven Whybrow, who told her she had fabricated the rape claim, and asked why she had not told the police the photo.
He told the court that the photo only emerged when police did “extractions” from her phones in January 2021. “In those extractions there is no reference to this pre-January 2021 bruise,” he told Ms Higgins.
She replied, “I don’t think I sent it to anyone. I sent to to [News Corp journalist] Samantha Maiden and Lisa Wilkinson…but why send that around until I reported it to the police?’
Mr Whybrow: ‘I tell you that the bruises and injuries you have received are fabricated.’
Mrs. Higgins replied, “I completely reject that.”
Bruce Lehrmann (pictured) broke his silence in a TV interview two years after Brittany Higgins accused him of raping her in Parliament House. He denies the allegation
Mr Whybrow said: ‘You did what you thought it took to make people believe you were [sexually assaulted].’
Mrs Higgins replied, ‘I’m not a monster. I would never do such a thing.’
She has not publicly commented on Mr Lehrmann’s interview, but her fiancé David Sharaz retweeted a message Monday morning condemning the TV piece.
It read, “No woman in her right mind would face what Miss Higgins has been through for any reason other than peace of mind.”
“No amount of money would be worth the nightmare of reporting (alleges of) rape.”
Mr Lehrmann was tried in October last year at a 12-day hearing in the ACT Supreme Court.
He had pleaded not guilty, but a mistrial was declared after a juror brought banned reading material to court.
Shane Drumgold, ACT’s Director of Public Prosecutions, dropped the case altogether in December over concerns about Ms Higgins’ mental health.
Daily Mail Australia approached Ms Higgins for comment on Monday.
BRUISE PHOTO TIMELINE
March 23, 2019: Brittany Higgins alleged that her former colleague, Bruce Lehrmann, raped her in Parliament House after a night out.
April 3, 2019: Ms Higgins says she took a photo of a large bruise on her upper right leg – which she claimed was caused by Mr Lehrmann’s knee pressing her against the sofa during the alleged assault.
February 10, 2021: Ms Higgins signed a legal statement ahead of her interview on The Project when she first made her rape allegations.
February 15, 2021: The Project interview airs and the photo of the bruise is shown on TV.
October 2022: A digital forensic investigator told the ACT High Court he was unable to determine when the photo was taken, but was unable to find evidence of the photo on Ms Higgins’ phone before January 2021.
She did not mention the photo in text messages before February 2021.
June 4, 2023: Mr. Lehrmann labeled the photo “made up” in a Spotlight interview.