Bruce Lehrmann and his girlfriend split just days after Brittany Higgins went public with her rape allegations, after he sent her a series of text messages about fabricated conversations with her lawyer to “pacify” her.
Lehrmann is suing Channel 10 and news.com.au for defamation over a television interview and an online article, both published on February 15, 2021, where Higgins alleged that a “male colleague” had raped her at Parliament House. in 2019.
He was not named in Ms Higgins’ interview with Lisa Wilkinson in The Project or in the website article, but claims his identity would have been known in political circles.
He has always denied having sexual contact with Ms. Higgins.
During an interlocutory hearing in Federal Court on Thursday, Lehrmann was questioned about a large number of messages he sent to his then-partner, Greta Sinclair, who was “distraught” when she found out the rape allegations were about him.
Lehrmann said he tried to make her feel better by fabricating information, falsely claiming he had “two lawyers,” that he could “make millions” suing for defamation, and that his lawyer said he was “part of a bigger political hatchet job.” ‘.
He admitted to lawyers for the network and the news website that those messages were not true: “In a sense, I was putting up a brave face for Ms. Sinclair,” he told the court.
Court documents revealed that Ms Sinclair seemed mollified by his messages; she responded by saying, “I love you and we will get through this.”
Bruce Lehrmann is pictured with his lawyer, Rachel Fisher, outside the ACT High Court in October when he stood trial.
She also ordered Chinese take-out “if you’re hungry later,” and agreed to keep information about the allegations against Mr. Lehrmann in her “close circle.”
However, Daily Mail Australia understands that the relationship ended in the following days.
The couple had only been together for about six months by February 15, 2021, but text messages between them on the same day show that they appeared to be in a loving relationship.
At approximately 11:30 a.m. on the day the indictments were issued, Sinclair texted Lehrmann to say that he had ordered a BLAT sandwich for lunch and asked if he could take time off work on March 10 so he could have lunch. at an expensive seafood restaurant in Sydney.
“If you can take it off and I’ll pay for most of it, you can do Ubers,” he said.
Mr. Lehrmann said he would try to take that day off, to which Mrs. Sinclair replied, ‘Thanks baby, all good, if you can’t I’ll find something to do.’
At about 1 pm, she said, ‘I’m going to walk xx’.
He replied: ‘Babe enjoy xx’.
An hour later, Ms Sinclair texted again to say: ‘You must be busy today! I’m not sending a lot of messages, haha.
At 2:11 p.m., he wrote: “I hope all is well.”
Three minutes later, he added: “I love you.”
Text messages between Bruce Lehrmann and his ex-girlfriend the day Brittany Higgins went public with her rape allegations (pictured: a mockup of the messages)
For two hours, between 2:10 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. that day, Mr. Lehrmann spoke with Ms. Sinclair to tell her of Ms. Higgins’ allegations.
He explained that he was in his lawyer’s office ‘having a whiskey’.
“He’s very good,” Lehrmann said of the lawyer.
‘Ms Sinclair replied, ‘That’s good to hear.’
‘I’ve been pretty upset… It’s scary.’
At that point, Lehrmann began telling Sinclair that he could win “millions” in a libel case against Channel 10 and news.com.au.
Their last trade of the night was between 9 p.m.
‘Same thing I told you, baby,’ he added.
She replied: ‘Easy babe xx’.
At around 10:10 p.m., Mr. Lehrmann texted a friend to say “I need bags.”
Over the next half hour, he sent several text messages to various people, saying “let’s do it” and “no one has work tomorrow.”
Ms Higgins (pictured outside ACT High Court) alleged that Mr Lehrmann raped her. He denies the accusations
Another text indicated that someone was ‘paying’ and another said ‘let’s fire up’.
The court documents were released by the Federal Court as part of the defamation lawsuits that Mr. Lehrmann filed against the media in February. However, the interlocutory hearing on Thursday it was largely to address why it took him two years to bring the case forward.
Applicants normally have 12 months after publication to file a defamation suit, but Mr. Lehrmann’s case came two years later.
His lawyers argued that it was unreasonable for him to start the case earlier.
Lawyers for the broadcaster and the news website argued that he should not be allowed to sue for defamation because it was reasonable for him to file the lawsuit within the first year.
The hearing was adjourned until March 23.
Bruce Lehrmann asked a friend if he had “any gear” and said he wanted to “get turned on” the night the Brittany Higgins interview aired.
Bruce Lehrmann told friends that he wanted to ‘get turned on’ because ‘no one had work tomorrow’ on the night of February 15, 2021.
That was the same night that Ms Higgins appeared on The Project and alleged that she had been raped at Parliament House in 2019 by an unidentified “male colleague”.
Following his cross-examination in Federal Court on Thursday, court documents showing all the text messages he sent and received on the day the news broke were made public.
A message log shows the staffer spent the night at his lawyer Warwick Korn’s office drinking whiskey and watching Brittany Higgins’ interview with Lisa Wilkinson on The Project.
Mr. Lehmann sent four consecutive text messages to his friend, saying “I need bags” and “let’s do it.”
Other texts said ‘no one has work tomorrow’, another indicated that someone was ‘paying’ and another message said ‘let’s fire up’.
About 20 minutes later, he texted a friend from work saying “I’ve got gear,” but she replied, urging them to “keep it clean.”
The former Liberal Party staffer told friends he wanted to “get turned on” because “no one had work tomorrow” on the evening of February 15, 2021. A mockup of his WhatsApp messages is shown.
Then he texted another friend to say ‘come here it’s good’ followed by ‘how many bags?’
Court documents also reveal messages from the morning, when Mr. Lehrmann discovered the news after a friend texted him a link to the story asking if he “knew this girl.”
Mr. Lehrmann said he “worked with her briefly” and “(she) was on team drinks etc.”
His friend responded by saying it was a “pretty concocted accusation” and asked if he “knew who the girl was.”
Mr Lehrmann said he had ‘not the foggiest idea’.
“No one has approached me,” he wrote.
About half an hour later, another friend sent him a text asking “if there was any gossip on who the Canberra rape guy is” before adding “the story says ‘rising star’ so it rules out our mates.” but who else?”
He replied that he “had no idea” and that “no one had approached him” before saying that he “assumed it would fizzle out.”
“She (Mrs. Higgins) is on the Project tonight, which isn’t exactly prime time,” he wrote, before adding “wouldn’t name it would they… pretty scurrilous stuff.”
His friend replied, ‘Well, it’s defamatory.’