Brittany Higgins claims she meant to delete Bruce Lehrmann’s name from a timeline of her rape allegations sent to journalists.
But her fiancé David Sharaz went on to send it ‘half the press gallery’ at Parliament House in Canberra while she was ‘passed out on Valium’.
Ms Higgins told the Federal Court last Friday that she created a timeline of her alleged rape in 2021 – two years after she was allegedly raped – for her own records and for police.
The timeline was uploaded to the court’s website ahead of Tuesday’s hearing of Mr Lehrmann’s defamation trial.
It lists a number of family members, friends and colleagues who knew about her rape allegations, along with their relationship to Ms Higgins and how they found out about the alleged assault.
At the end of that list sent to journalists, the document says: ‘Bruce Lehrmann, former advisor to Minister Reynolds, Perpetrator.’
Brittany Higgins (centre) arrives at court with her lawyer Leon Zwier (far left), best friend Emma Roberts (second from left), fiancé David Sharaz (back right) and another supporter
The document Mr Sharaz sent to reporters in the parliamentary press gallery described Bruce Lehrmann as the ‘perpetrator’. He has always denied Ms Higgins’ allegation he raped her
In court last week, Ms Higgins said her now-fiancé David Sharaz distributed that timeline to ‘half the press gallery’ in Canberra in February 2021, while she was ‘passed out on Valium’.
There are about 250 journalists in the media gallery at Parliament House in Canberra.
Mr Lehrmann has always denied Ms Higgins’ rape allegation.
On Friday, Mr Lehrmann’s barrister Steven Whybrow asked Ms Higgins why the document was distributed with her alleged rapist’s name on it.
‘It was meant to be redacted,’ Ms Higgins said.
Mr Whybrow asked: ‘By who?’
She replied: ‘By me.’
A timeline of alleged events as pulled together by Ms Higgins, and later distributed to media
He asked why it had Mr Lehrmann’s name on it at all, to which Ms Higgins said it was originally meant for herself and police.
Mr Whybrow continued: ‘So it was an accident that naming Mr Lehrmann as the perpetrator that was then distributed to the entire Canberra press gallery?’
Ms Higgins agreed.
Ms Higgins’ cross-examination continued on Tuesday morning with the former political staffer grilled about her Bumble date who she brought with her to The Dock Hotel on March 22, 2019 – the night she alleges Lehrmann raped her.
Ms Higgins invited her date, Nick, to the pub with her colleagues that evening but said they were ‘mean’ to him and picked on him about his public service job, and his clothes.
Mr Lehrmann’s barrister Steven Whybrow SC suggested to Ms Higgins that she lied to police about her colleagues being rude to her date.
Higgins told the Federal Court that her colleagues had been rude to her Bumble date, Nick (above in white shirt, next to Ms Higgins)
He suggested she was actually more interested in spending time with Mr Lehrmann than with Nick.
Ms Higgins said that wasn’t the case, and maintained Nick left the pub because she was ‘very rude’ to him.
CCTV from the pub that evening played before the court.
It showed Ms Higgins and Nick having a conversation, before he went to the bar and bought her two drinks – her third and fourth of the evening – between 8pm and 8.30pm that evening.
Mr Lehrmann and another colleague, Austin Wenke, arrived at the pub and Ms Higgins went to another table to speak with them.
Ms Higgins told the court on Tuesday that she was ‘pretty drunk by then’ and that the date ‘wasn’t going well’.
Nick then sat at a table with Ms Higgins’ colleagues while she sat at another table.
Mr Whybrow said: ‘At 9.05, Nick left the table and went to the bar, you were still at Bruce’s table.
‘At that stage, you had no interest in having further communications with him.’
Ms Higgins said: ‘I was very drunk, I was very rude.’
At about 9.30pm, Nick could be seen shaking hands with one of her colleagues and leaving the venue.
Ms Higgins then said she was ‘drinking to get drunk’ that night and that she ‘never would have had a water or a soda’ because she didn’t want to feel bloated.
‘I never would have done that,’ she told the court.
The hearing continues.