Bruce Lehrmann defamation trial: key names to know

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The defamation action by Bruce Lehrmann featuring Brittany Higgins, Network Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson was due to be finalised this week. Then another bombshell twist appeared.

Lawyers for Network Ten were successful in convincing the Federal Court to reopen the case after new allegations were raised by former Seven Network producer Taylor Auerbach.

Auerbach, who was involved in two exclusive interviews with Mr Lehrmann for Seven Network’s Spotlight, took to the witness stand after Justice Michael Lee agreed to reopen the high-stakes defamation case.

What does the reopening of Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation case mean for Judgement?

Network Ten first aired the exclusive television interview with Brittany Higgins, in which she alleged she had been raped at Parliament House by an unnamed colleague in 2019. That colleague was Bruce Lehrmann.

Bruce Lehrmann has always maintained his innocence.

The criminal investigation went to trial in the ACT Supreme Court in October 2022. But a juror’s misconduct brought the trial undone, and when prosecutors declined to go ahead with a retrial, it left no findings against Mr Lehrmann.

Not long after, Mr Lehrmann launched a defamation claim against Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson over the interview. Thursday was supposed to reveal the trial outcome for Mr Lehrmann, with Justice Michael Lee scheduled to hand down Judgement.

However, in a series of sworn affidavits to the Federal Court, Mr Auerbach claimed that Mr Lehrmann supplied Seven Network with several pieces of fresh evidence.

If Network Ten can prove that Mr Lehrmann lied about providing the material to the Seven Network, it will put his credibility into question resulting in a further delayed trial.

Key names in Lehrmann defamation trial

As the case draws on, here’s a run down of the key players to know in the multimillion-dollar defamation match featuring Bruce Lehrmann, Brittany Higgins, The Project, Lisa Wilkinson and new antagonist Taylor Auerbach.