Bruce Lehrmann has been photographed at a Liberal Party Christmas function as Brittany Higgins is cross-examined in his defamation case against Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson.
Mr Lehrmann was seen at a drinks event attended by deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on Thursday evening.
The former political staffer is suing Ten and Wilkinson in the Federal Court over an interview his former colleague Ms Higgins gave on The Project in February 2021.
Bruce Lehrmann has been photographed at a Liberal Party Christmas function as Brittany Higgins is cross-examined in his defamation case against Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson
During the interview Ms Higgins claimed she had been raped in Parliament House in March 2019. She did not name Mr Lehrmann but he claims his identity was recognisable.
He has always denied having had any sexual contact with Ms Higgins and is seeking damages in the Federal Court.
Mr Lehrmann has been in the Sydney court room each day this week to watch Ms Higgins give evidence-in-chief and then be cross-examined by his barrister Steven Whybrow SC.
Thursday’s Christmas drinks were organised by the Liberal Party’s Wentworth branch and held at Villa Orme in Rushcutters Bay, according to news.com.au, which first reported the story.
A spokeswoman for Ms Ley told the outlet she did not know Mr Lehrmann would be in a attendance and she had not interacted with him.
Brittany Higgins is pictured arriving at the Federal Court with fiancé David Sharaz. She spent the day under cross-examination by Bruce Lehrmann’s barrister Steven Whybrow
On Friday, a long excerpt of a five-hour meeting attended by Wilkinson, her now fiancé David Sharaz, Wilkinson and a Ten producer was played in the Federal Court.
The meeting was recorded in January 2021 – a few weeks before The Project episode went to air, during which Ms Higgins aired her rape allegations publicly for the first time.
During that conversation, Wilkinson could be heard saying the Liberal Party ‘play mind games’ and Ms Higgins described the party as a ‘weird, gross family’.
Wilkinson’s voice rose at one stage, before Mr Sharaz laughed and said ‘I like how angry you’re getting’.
Wilkinson acquired a headset to ensure she could hear the proceedings properly.
Her lips pursed as the recording was played for the court.