Lisa Wilkinson has been caught joking about the name of Shadow Indigenous Affairs minister Jacinta Nampijinpa Price before comparing the Liberal Party preselecting an Indigenous candidate to a white family “hiring a black cleaner.”
The comments from an audio recording were made during a luncheon between Wilkinson, Brittany Higgins, her partner David Sharaz and Channel 10 producer Angus Llewellyn, in January 2021.
The five-hour meeting took place before Ms Higgins’ interview on The Project on February 15, 2021, where she made bombshell allegations of sexual assault.
The former Liberal Party staffer claims she was raped by Bruce Lehrmann in Parliament House after a night out in 2019 when they were colleagues working for then Defense Secretary Linda Reynolds. Mr. Lehrmann has always denied the allegations.
Over lunch, both Wilkinson and Mr Sharaz spoke of politicians potentially adding weight to Ms Higgins’ allegations and the perceived culture of misogyny within the Liberal Party.
‘(The Liberal Party) has pre-selected more than twenty new and wonderfully diverse and strong female candidates, such as, what’s her name, Nam… Nampinjumba? (sic). She is an Indigenous woman,” Wilkinson was heard to say in an audio clip obtained by Sky News.
Lisa Wilkinson (pictured) is caught joking about the name of Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, the Shadow Minister of Indigenous Affairs, in an audio recording
Mr Sharaz replied, ‘She’s obviously got in. It was clearly a safe seat.’
“That’s the point, it was — as soon as I looked at it I was like, Oh, you’re kidding,” said Wilkinson.
Mr Sharaz added: ‘They have been pre-selected in unwinnable seats’
Wilkinson’s producer Mr Llewellyn then agreed to a joke about the Liberal Party hiring Mrs Price.
“Look, we know brown people,” he said.
Mr Sharaz joined in the joke saying, ‘It’s like I’m not racist, I have a black friend. It’s that argument.’
‘But I don’t have his number,’ Mr Llewellyn said.
The ex-project host added, “And our cleaner is black.”
The group joked about the Liberal Party’s pre-selection of Senator Price (pictured), with Wilkinson likening it to a white family “hiring a black cleaner”
The comments were made during a five-hour lunch between Wilkinson, Brittany Higgins (right), Ms Higgins’ fiancée David Sharaz (left) and TV producer Angus Llewellyn.
It comes as Anthony Albanese and other Labor heavyweights were forced this week to deny colluding with Wilkinson and Ms Higgins while in opposition to ‘arm’ the assault allegations.
But a wealth of text messages leaked on Wednesday between Mr Shazaz and Ms Higgins appear to show that the pair had ‘direct contact’ with those at the highest levels of the Labor Party.
Wilkinson had claimed over lunch that Mr Albanese and Ms Plibersek were ‘friendly MPs’ who could ‘ask questions in Question Time’ about the rape allegations.
As Mr Sharaz said, in recorded audio revealed by Daily Mail Australia: ‘I have a friend in Labour, Katy Gallagher on the Labor side, who will look into it and take it forward.
“So sit for a week, the story gets out, they have to answer questions during question time, it’s a mess for them.”
With a whirlwind of controversy surrounding the Wilkinson since the filming was made public, the TV presenter has embarked on a massive social media blockade to silence her critics amid calls to return her Logie for the Ms Higgins interview.
“Had I been in her position I would certainly have offered to return the Logie,” Sky News Australia contributor Prue McSween told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Journalists must remain objective, not driven by their own agenda. Obviously, this became much more than a first for Lisa.
“No journalist should try to insert themselves or become the story.
But Lisa was ‘feeding the beast’ with her involvement in the women’s protest outside Parliament House and the #metoo political theme that drove this whole storyline.
“I wouldn’t want my professional ethics to be questioned, as hers is now.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer Katy Gallagher (pictured) was mentioned by Ms Higgins’ fiancé, David Sharaz, as a ‘friend’ who could help the couple. Ms Gallagher has vehemently denied having any knowledge of the rape allegations before they were made public
Lisa Wilkinson reportedly silenced her critics in a massive online blockade after campaigners demanded she take her Logie for her Brittany Higgins report
Veteran entertainment journalist Peter Ford claimed that Wilkinson crossed a line by giving Ms. Higgins politically charged sentences to say in the interview.
“It’s a thin line,” Ford told Sunrise host Natalie Barr.
“But in general, I think when someone says, ‘I don’t want to put words in your mouth,’ that’s exactly what they want to do.
“Of course Walkley Awards can be revoked. I can’t think of an example where a Logie Award has been revoked, but time will tell.
“I think people are waiting to see how the current situation plays out.”
Australian columnist Janet Albrechtsen labeled Wilkinson’s interview with Ms Higgins as “sloppy journalism” in a opinion piece and told her to give her Logie back now.
“The right thing to do would be for Wilkinson to turn in her Logie for her Higgins interview,” she wrote.
“That interview has been nothing but misery for her, for justice, for good journalism and for people who deserved to be treated better.”
Wilkinson won the Logie in June 2022 (left) for her interview with Ms Higgins, in which the charges of explosive rape first aired in February 2021. Sky News Australia contributor Prue McSween (right) told Daily Mail Australia that Wilkinson won the award now have to return
Veteran entertainment journalist Peter Ford (right) told Sunrise host Natalie Barr (left) that Wilkinson had crossed a line and said she could lose the Logie she was given for the interview.
Many now claim that Wilkinson hit back at her critics by blocking them online and effectively silencing them by censoring their comments from her timeline.
Among those affected in the attack is former Senator Cory Bernardi of South Australia, who tweeted, “Proud to be a member of the ‘blocked by Lisa Wilkinson’ club.”
Scores have posted their own reports of being blocked by Wilkinson as well, adding, “Welcome – there are plenty of good people in this club.”
Another added that the TV star and her columnist husband Peter FitzSimons had both muted their detractors.
“She and her husband are very busy today limiting their Twitter audience to yes people,” they said.
“Where great leaders surround themselves with no people to promote debate to achieve high performance, poor leaders surround themselves with yes people to silence the debate.”
One posted: “Lisa Wilkinson has blocked me but I have never tweeted to her.
“Clearly she blocks anyone who says anything negative about Brittany Higgins or people who refuse to worship Anthony Albanese and Labour.”
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Wilkinson for comment.