Network Seven agreed to pay Bruce Lehrmann’s accommodation for a year, worth about $104,000, in exchange for interviews on Spotlight.
The staggering sum was revealed in a tax invoice from June this year, which was uploaded to the Federal Court’s website on Tuesday afternoon amid his defamation trial against Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson.
According to the document, the network used a short-term accommodation agency to secure Mr Lehrmann’s residence for a year – between April 2023 and April 2024.
The $4000 invoice covers two weeks’ rent, from June 8 to June 23, which equates to about $8000 per month.
Network Seven previously said it ‘made no payment to Mr Lehrmann for the interview’, but ‘assisted with accommodation as part of the filming of the report’.
Mr Lehrman lived in a beachside apartment in Maroubra, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, boasting ‘amazing coastal views’, until earlier this year.
He now lives in another rental in Sydney’s north.
During his cross-examination last week, Wilkinson’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC asked Mr Lehrmann what he got in exchange for his interview with Seven’s Spotlight program earlier this year.
Ms Chrysanthou asked: ‘Was it part of that agreement that you were paid for 12 months accommodation by Channel Seven?’
Mr Lehrmann replied: ‘That’s the only part…that’s what I get.’
Ms Chrysanthou continued: ‘That occurred from June 2023 and paid until June 2024?’
Mr Lehrmann said: ‘Umm, well, yes. For filming in those places.’
He explained that part of the first Spotlight interview, aired on Channel Seven in June, was partly filmed in that accommodation.
She then asked how much that was worth, but Mr Lehrmann said he didn’t know because the ‘network handled the accommodation arrangements’.
Mr Lehrmann’s exclusivity contract with the network was also uploaded tot eh Federal Court’s website on Tuesday, which was signed in April – when Seven started paying his rent.
It said: ‘[Mr Lehrmann] will provide exclusivity to Seven, at specific times and places required by Seven.’
Those experiences related to his experience during his criminal trial last year and his life afterwards, along with relevant documents, film, video, photographs and ‘items of assistance’ requested by the network.
In court last week, Mr Lehrmann said he did not provide material aside from his interviews.
‘In consideration of the interviewee complying in full with the terms and warranties of this agreement and for the contribution of his time, Seven will provide the interviewee with 12 months accommodation,’ it said.
‘The residence may be used by Seven to arrange and film any parts of the Seven exclusive.’