Australia

Brittany Higgins feared losing her job if boss learned of alleged rape, court exhibit shows

The Supreme Court in Canberra on Wednesday was shown messages sent between Brittany Higgins and her ex-boyfriend, in the days after her alleged rape in Parliament House.
In the messages, Ms Higgins said she “was barely lucid” at the time of the alleged sexual assault.
“I don’t really feel like it was consensual at all,” she wrote.
Her former colleague Bruce Lehrmann denies the allegations and has pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent.
In the messages, Ms Higgins told her close friend and ex-boyfriend Ben Dillaway that she was worried her employment with then-defence minister Linda Reynolds would be terminated, after she told her boss about the alleged sexual assault.
“I think I may not continue to be employed with Linda,” she wrote.
“The only thing I really want is for this to not get out and become public knowledge.”

Ms Higgins broke down in a police interview played to the court.

Bruce Lehrmann denies the allegations and has pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent. Source: AAP / MICK TSIKAS

She said she was “so scared of coming forward” to report the allegation to police and she was aware “of the party implications” two months out from the 2019 election.

Three days after the alleged rape Ms Higgins said she was called into a meeting with Senator Reynolds’ chief of staff.
Fiona Brown had been alerted to Ms Higgins’ presence in Parliament House after hours, as it was considered a security breach. 
Fearing she was about to be fired Ms Higgins said she decided to have a “full and frank” conversation and detailed the alleged rape for the first time.
“The moment I vocalised and said it… that’s when it fully hit me,” she told police in an interview played to the court.
“As soon as I identified it as a rape… I started to cry. That’s when the gears shifted, and it became less about me and more political.”

Ms Higgins said she later spoke with Senator Reynolds and Senator Michaelia Cash about the alleged assault, before going public.

Court shown CCTV footage of night out

The court was played security camera footage from The Dock bar in Canberra, where Ms Higgins was shown to consume 11 drinks in under five hours.
She then went to a nightclub before allegedly taking a taxi to Parliament House with Mr Lehrmann.
The prosecutor also presented the Parliament House visitor log from that night.
Shane Drumgold SC told the court it shows both names in the same handwriting, allegedly indicating Ms Higgins was too intoxicated to sign her own name.
His argument is that Ms Higgins was too intoxicated to have consented to sex.
Mr Lehrmann’s defence barrister has previously told the court he intends to show “inconsistencies and holes” in Ms Higgins’ version of events.
If allegations set out in this story raise issues for you, or you or someone you know needs support – you can seek 24-hour help by calling 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visiting . In an emergency, call 000.
File source

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close