The eye-watering sum Lisa Wilkinson is paying top defamation lawyer, Dr Matthew Collins
Lisa Wilkinson’s expensive attorney gets $11,000 a day after her disastrous Logies speech.
The Channel 10 star found herself in hot water last Sunday after calling alleged rape victim Brittany Higgins during her acceptance speech – in front of around a million viewers.
Her comments forced the former Liberal associate’s rape trial, which was due to begin next week, to be postponed until October.
Matthew Collins, the chairman of the Australian Bar Association, told Sunrise days after the speech there was a “serious possibility” that Wilkinson could be charged with contempt of court.
But hours after his comments on national television, Channel 10 hired the top attorney to represent Wilkinson.
Lisa Wilkinson (pictured) has hired a top attorney to represent her next speech from Logies
dr. Collins is one of Australia’s leading defamation lawyers who won Rebel Wilson millions in her case against Bauer Media in 2017.
The actor was awarded $4.5 million in damages after the magazine group defamed her in eight articles in May 2015, claiming she lied about her real name, age and youth to make it in Hollywood.
dr. Collins also represented YouTube creator Jordan Shanks in a high-profile defamation lawsuit against former NSW Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro.
Mr Barilaro sued Mr Shanks in May 2021, alleging he was defamed by a series of videos alleging he had committed perjury.
The now-retired MP settled his case in federal court against Mr Shanks in November when he received an apology and the videos were edited, but was later awarded $715,000 in damages against YouTube owner Google.
The lawyer’s partner, Leonard Vary, is chief executive of the Myer Foundation and the pair are known for hosting a series of glamorous parties at their home in South Yarra, Melbourne.
Matthew Collins, the chairman of the Australian Bar Association (pictured) was hired to represent the host of The Project hours after he criticized her actions on Sunrise
dr. Collins said of Sunrise: ‘It is certainly possible that the authorities will look at the speech she gave to the Lodge and judge that speech by the standard applicable in this branch of the law.
“That norm is, has anything she does tended to interfere with the justice system?”
He felt that Wilkinson, who has been in the media industry for over 40 years, should have known better.
“You would hope that when the media considers doing a story about a serious criminal trial that is about to begin, they are aware of the potential risks,” added Dr. Collins to it.
“The mainstream media understands the risk involved in talking about cases about to go to trial, especially serious high-profile cases.”
Lisa Wilkinson (pictured during her Logies speech) mentioned an impending trial on TV
He explained that anyone faced with a serious charge has a right to the presumption of innocence – meaning there should be no prejudice in one way or another.
“So the jury just sits and focuses very sharply on the evidence as it unfolds on the witness stand, putting out of their minds everything they may have seen in the media, or God forbid and often much worse, on social media,” said Dr. Collins.
Last week, Channel 10 hit back at the “unfair” criticism of Wilkinson, saying it would not rule out legal action.
“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.”
The Channel 10 star (pictured) won’t be returning to her co-hosting duties on The Project on Monday
Wilkinson’s speech helped delay Higgins’ trial of former political staffer Bruce Lehrmann by penalizing potential jurors. Lehrmann is accused of raping Ms Higgins in the parliament building in 2019 and pleads not guilty.
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 accusation and the fact of guilt has been lost.”
The Channel 10 star will not return to her co-hosting duties on The Project on Monday when Hollywood A-lister Chris Hemsworth will appear.
Lisa Wilkinson (right) won a Logie for her televised interview with alleged rape victim Brittany Higgins (also pictured)
Her absence is the fourth time in five days that she has not appeared on the air after a backlash from her Logies’ acceptance speech on Sunday night.
Network Ten claimed Wilkinson would stay off the air and return to the popular news program sometime next week.
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.”