Bruce Lehrmann court decision LIVE: Bombshell photo rocks hearing as Lehrmann is accused of ‘outrageous contempt of court’ – leading judge to make a dramatic last-minute call

Network Ten’s barrister Matthew Collins KC has accused Bruce Lehrmann of committing an ‘outrageous contempt of court’.

He accused Mr Lehrmann of handing about 2300 pages of Brittany Higgins’ private texts to Channel Seven, ahead of his two interviews on Spotlight which aired in June last year.

Those texts were between Ms Higgins and her ex-boyfriend, Ben Dillaway.

Dr Collins accused Mr Lehrmann of handing those texts to the network to embarrass Ms Higgins and to influence the defamation trial.

‘No doubt in the hope that they would be broadcast and disseminated to her embarrassment,’ Dr Collins said.

‘All of this done in the immediate lead up to a defamation trial before Your Honour … and can only have been calculated to put pressure on witnesses and parties.”

He said the five-hour recording of a meeting between Wilkinson, Mr Llewellyn and Ms Higgins was ‘highly unflattering’.

‘It is in our submission, the definition of an abuse of process,’ he said.

Dr Collins then told the court that Mr Lehrmann used Channel Seven’s photocopier to copy documents in his possession.

Wilkinson’s barrister Ms Chrysanthou then told the court Channel Seven’s agreement with Mr Lehramnn went further than covering his rent.

The network paid about $100,000 for Mr Lehrmann’s rent for a year in exchange for exclusive interviews.

She said: ‘In addition to the one year of rent, it would appear there were months more of rent paid for by Network Seven in Mr Auerbach’s name.’

Ms Chrysanthou also said Mr Auerbach had provided photos of a laptop which displayed texts between Wilkinson’s husband Peter FitzSimons and Ms Higgins.

Mr FizSimons brokered Ms Higgins’ $325,000 book deal with Penguin Random House in 2021.

‘In the reflection, you can see [Spotlight producer] Mark Llewellyn,’ she said.

‘Those photos were taken in an apartment which was rented for Mr Lehrmann to live in … in Mr Auerbach’s name.’

Network Seven was subpoenaed to produce material relating to the agreement with Mr Lehrmann prior to the defamation case last year.

On Tuesday, Ms Chrysanthou suggested some of the original material may have been destroyed.