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Lisa Wilkinson skips hosting The Project after disastrous Logies speech

Lisa Wilkinson has canceled her appearances for The Project for a week after Network Ten threatens defamation against other media outlets following the fallout from her controversial Logies speech.

The project’s co-host has come under fire for calling out alleged rape victim Brittany Higgins in her speech after she won the Outstanding News Coverage Logie award for her one-on-one interview with the former ministerial staff member in 2021.

The acceptance speech has prompted the rape trial, which was set to begin next week, to be moved to October, which could lead to Wilkinson being charged with contempt of court.

She has faced a fury of public criticism since speaking with thousands of Australians calling for their resignations.

Wilkinson was noticeably absent from her Thursday night hosting appearance on Channel 10, despite it being scheduled to appear.

She was replaced instead by co-host Georgie Tunny, who appeared alongside fellow Logies winner Tony Armstrong, but there was no mention of the awards at all during the show.

She was also supposed to co-host on Friday and Sunday nights, but those performances have also been canceled.

Network 10 host Lisa Wilkinson (above) was absent from The Project's panel Thursday night after her controversial Logies speech

Network 10 host Lisa Wilkinson (above) was absent from The Project’s panel Thursday night after her controversial Logies speech

A Ten Network spokesperson said they “fully support Lisa in her continued and full commitment to do the right thing as a witness in the trial.”

The network also hit back at the “unfair” criticism of Wilkinson, saying it would not rule out legal action. the Australian reported.

“This coverage is now causing significant harm and we are asking these organizations to end this harassment to give Lisa the best opportunity to give her testimony in court and to ensure a fair and timely trial,” a spokesperson said. of the network. said.

“We are closely monitoring all coverage of this matter and Lisa and Network 10 reserve their rights with respect to future defamation claims.”

Wilkinson’s speech reportedly helped delay Higgins’ trial of former political aide Bruce Lehrmann by penalizing potential jurors.

Lehrmann is accused of raping Ms Higgins in the parliament building in 2019.

He denies these claims and stated in a police interrogation that he did not have sex with Ms Higgins.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of ACT set a new date for the trial, which is October 4.

Chief Justice Lucy McCallum decided on Tuesday to postpone the trial “unfortunately and with gritted teeth” because “somewhere in this debate the distinction between an untested allegation and the fact of guilt has been lost.”

Wilkinson's speech reportedly helped delay the trial between Brittany Higgins and alleged rapist Bruce Lehrmann (above)

Wilkinson’s speech reportedly helped delay the trial between Brittany Higgins and alleged rapist Bruce Lehrmann (above)

She noted that public interest in the case had to wane before Lehrmann would have access to a fair jury.

On Thursday morning, Lehrmann’s lawyer Steve Whybrow asked for a further postponement of the trial until early next year.

“My request would be, as far as the bushfire is still burning, that the trial starts early next year because we want there to be no further problems and delays,” he told the court.

“We can foresee the possibility that there will be side issues to be investigated in relation to the circumstances that led to the abandonment.”

Judge McCallum rejected his application, saying: “This week’s publicity focused heavily on the fact that a man has been overlooked, that a man is on trial and has the right to the presumption of innocence.”

Wilkinson (left) has been criticized for her acceptance speech for the Outstanding News Coverage Logie award for her one-on-one interview with former ministerial staffer Brittany Higgins (right)

Wilkinson (left) has been criticized for her acceptance speech for the Outstanding News Coverage Logie award for her one-on-one interview with former ministerial staffer Brittany Higgins (right)

Higgins District Attorney Shane Drumgold agreed with Judge McCallum’s decision, noting that the 102 day delay was longer than seen in similar cases.

Mr Drumgold also announced Thursday that he would seek written commitments by the end of the day from Network 10, Wilkinson and the owners of Sydney radio station WSFM that they would no longer comment on the trial.

In the written agreement, the three parties would also agree that any future comments could be contempt of court.

Mr Drumgold said that if Network 10, Wilkinson and WSFM did not make the commitment, he would request an injunction to stop future public comments.

The Public Prosecution Service cannot confirm whether the promises have been made.

Mr Drumgold also said five books currently being written – by authors including Sydney Morning Herald columnist Niki Savva, News Corp journalist Samantha Maiden and Ten’s political editor Peter van Onselen – could comment on the matter.

Wilkinson's speech reportedly helped delay Higgins' trial of former political staffer Bruce Lehrmann by penalizing potential jurors

Wilkinson’s speech reportedly helped delay Higgins’ trial of former political staffer Bruce Lehrmann by penalizing potential jurors

Ms Higgins (above) faces court on October 4 against Bruce Lehrmann after she accused him of raping her in Parliament House in 2019.

Ms Higgins (above) faces court on October 4 against Bruce Lehrmann after she accused him of raping her in Parliament House in 2019.

Justice McCallum said publishers should remember that Lehrmann has not yet been found guilty in a court of law.

“Even a discussion of corporate culture should be a delicate dance,” she said.

“When it comes to the handling of an allegation, it’s very difficult to have that debate without commenting on appropriate handling based on the supposed premise that the allegation is true.”

Network 10 announced Wednesday that it has hired high-profile attorney Matthew Collins on behalf of the Network and Wilkinson, just hours after Dr. Collins had criticized Wilkinson’s speech on rival Chanel Seven’s Sunrise morning show.

“It is certainly possible that the authorities will look at the speech she gave to the Lodge and judge (whether) that speech violated the standard applicable in this branch of the law,” said Dr. collins.

“That norm is, did she do anything that tended to interfere with the justice system?”

It’s unclear if Wilkinson will be charged with contempt of court, but it’s clear she should have been made aware of any consequences by the end of the proceedings on Thursday.

Network Ten fully supports Lisa Wilkinson and confirmed that Dr was hired to represent it and Wilkinson.

Network 10 said it

Network 10 said it “fully supports” Wilkinson following her speech from Logies (above) late Sunday night for her interview with Ms Higgins, days after she was made public with her allegations that she had been raped in Parliament House.

“Both Network 10 and Lisa Wilkinson take their legal obligations very seriously, including in preparing and delivering her speech at the Logies event,” a spokeswoman said. news.com.au

“In light of the ongoing proceedings, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Wilkinson’s Logies speech late on Sunday night was watched by millions of viewers, moments after winning a Logie for her interview with Ms Higgins, just days after the former Liberal staffer made public her allegations of being in Parliament House by a colleague in 2019. raped by a colleague.

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