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‘Suffering from ongoing publication’: Higgins’ distress at leaked texts

Brittany Higgins believed the publication of her private text messages, diary entries and other documents handed over to police and prosecutors to assist in Bruce Lehrmann’s sexual assault trial was part of a deliberate campaign to undermine her credibility, court documents reveal. The Federal Court heard allegations on Tuesday that Lehrmann leaked more than 2300 pages of Higgins’ text messages with her ex-boyfriend Ben Dillaway to Seven as he negotiated an exclusive interview deal in 2022 with the network’s Spotlight program. He has previously told the court he did not give any documents to Seven. In a bombshell development on Tuesday night, Network Ten succeeded in an application to reopen its defence to Lehrmann’s multimillion-dollar Federal Court defamation case against Ten and high-profile presenter Lisa Wilkinson over an interview with Higgins broadcast on The Project on February 15, 2021. Justice Michael Lee was due to deliver his decision in the defamation case on Thursday but has postponed his judgment to hear evidence called by Ten from Taylor Auerbach, a former Spotlight producer who has alleged in affidavits filed in court that Lehrmann leaked the Higgins and Dillaway texts to Seven in December 2022. Auerbach will give evidence on Thursday.

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