Brittany Higgins has shared a powerful message of solidarity with Bruce Lehrmann’s alleged victim, claiming her ‘heart broke’ for the woman after he was unmasked as the high-profile man accused of rape in Queensland.
But shortly after Ms Higgins’ Instagram statement on Sunday, Mr Lehrman revealed to Daily Mail Australia it contains a crucial error.
Mr Lehrmann was charged with two counts of rape in January this year following an alleged incident after a night out at a strip club in Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, in October 2021.
He is accused of twice failing to wear a condom while having sex with a young woman.
In Queensland, ‘stealthing’ or having unprotected sex without a sexual partner’s permission is considered sexual assault.
Brittany Higgins (pictured, above) has shared a powerful message of solidarity with Bruce Lehrmann’s alleged victim, claiming her ‘heart broke’ for her after he was unmasked as the high-profile man accused of rape in Queensland (statement below)
Despite Higgins’ claim, Mr Lehrmann was not on any kind of bail in the lead-up to his aborted trial in October of 2022. He was on only on bail after the mistrial in relation to the Queensland matter
Bruce Lehrmann is pictured in May in Sydney’s eastern suburbs at Bondi Trattoria
It could not be reported until Thursday when he lost a court battle to keep his identity a secret.
Mr Lehrmann has not entered a plea to the charges but denies the allegations. Daily Mail Australia understands that he intends to plead not guilty.
Ms Higgins, who alleges Mr Lehrmann raped her in Parliament House in 2019, has now broken her silence on the latest revelations to express her sympathy with the alleged victim – and to criticise the media for ‘championing’ him.
‘When I first found out about the alleged sexual assault my heart broke for you,’ Ms Higgins wrote on Instagram, appearing to address the alleged victim.
‘To know that this has allegedly taken place while he was out on bail in 2021 is devastating.
‘I note the fact you’ve decide [sic] to come forward despite seeing the horrific championing of this individual in the media all year.’
Despite Higgins’ claim, Mr Lehrmann was not on any kind of bail in the lead-up to his aborted trial in October of 2022.
He was on only on bail after the mistrial in relation to the Queensland matter.
‘I’d just note if Ms Higgins is going to try and kibosh the human right of a fair trial again and also further defame me, at least get your facts right before you post,’ Mr Lehrmann said.
The woman in Queensland alleges she met Mr Lehrmann on a night out that began when she joined friends at the Powerhouse music venue in Toowoomba.
After drinking with friends, she then went to a strip club called The Vault, where she consumed more alcohol and met Mr Lehrmann.
Mr Lehrmann allegedly introduced himself as ‘Bryce’.
Later, police allege the woman took a taxi with Mr Lehrmann to his friend’s house.
They had sex once that night and twice in the morning, but the woman alleges the last two times were not consensual because he allegedly wasn’t wearing a condom.
Bruce Lehrmann lost a major legal battle to keep his identity in a high profile rape case a secret
Judge Applegarth claimed Lehrmann’s decision to take part in a Spotlight interview with Channel Seven (pictured) was at odds wit his lawyer’s claims that media coverage of the new allegations could damage his mental health
The pair allegedly used cocaine during the night out, according to a court brief, The Australian reported.
Laws in Queensland which banned the media from publicly identifying alleged sex offenders unless the matter was committed to trial were overturned last month.
Details of the alleged rape were revealed after Supreme Court judge Peter Applegarth lifted a non-publication order banning media from publicly identifying Lerhmann on Thursday.
Police will allege the woman told Mr Lehrmann she needed a morning-after pill and that he agreed to drive her to a chemist in a farm ute.
Afterwards, she allegedly asked Mr Lehrmann to take her home and he stopped at McDonald’s on the way.
It will be alleged in court that the pair exchanged messages on Snapchat for a few days after the encounter, but soon lost contact.
Weeks later, the woman was allegedly speaking to a friend’s mother about the Brittany Higgins case when she searched for details on her phone and saw Mr Lehrmann’s photo – and recognised him as the same person who allegedly had sex with her.
The woman reported the matter to police the next day before making a formal statement.
Lehrmann has always denied having any sexual contact with former colleague Brittany Higgins (above). He faced an ACT Supreme Court trial last year which was aborted
Police will allege they have CCTV footage from the strip club showing the pair leaving together, and evidence that the man booked a taxi.
The night out in Toowoomba was weeks after Mr Lehrmann appeared in an ACT court over unrelated allegations that he raped then-parliamentary colleague Brittany Higgins in 2019.
He pleaded not guilty in that case and was never convicted. He has always maintained he never had sex with Ms Higgins.
Mr Lehrmann’s lawyers had tried to argue the publication of his name would severely impact his mental health and raise the risk of him inflicting ‘catastrophic’ harm on himself.
But Judge Applegarth delivered a brutal swipe when making his decision to dismiss the non-publication order on Thursday.
He claimed Mr Lehrmann’s decision to take part in a Spotlight interview with Channel Seven was at odds wit his lawyer’s claims that media coverage of the new allegations could damage his mental health.
‘A cynic might say: ‘I hope Channel Seven paid him, or his solicitors, a lot of money’, for the consequences it had on his application, if nothing else,’ Mr Applegarth said in court on Thursday.
The judge added that while being named would ‘weigh heavily’ on Mr Lehrmann, the ‘unfortunate effect on his mental health’ was not enough reason to uphold the non-publication order.