Lehrmann's Network Seven accommodation deal revealed

Tim Piccione
Updated December 6 2023 - 5:51pm, first published 10:20am

Bruce Lehrmann's payment for appearing in two Network Seven interviews, in the form of one year's worth of accommodation, has been revealed.

A document published by the Federal Court on Tuesday evening included a tax invoice for Mr Lehrmann's rent paid for by the television network. It indicates he could benefit in the sum of more than $100,000.

WATCH: Lisa Wilkinson's defence relies, in part, on the allegation Bruce Lehrmann raped political staffer Brittany Higgins in 2019 being substantially true.

The documents were made public as part of Mr Lehrmann civil action against Network Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson over a 2021 The Project story airing Brittany Higgins' allegation she was raped at Parliament House.

He claims the story identified and defamed him.

A tax invoice shows a sum of $4000 was paid to a rental property in North Sydney for a period in June.

The document only shows one payment made between June 8 and June 23 of this year but the agreement indicates the rental period is for a year beginning in April.

Bruce Lehrmann. Picture by Karleen Minney
Bruce Lehrmann. Picture by Karleen Minney

If Mr Lehrmann's accommodation costs remained the same for the full year Seven owes him, his interviews would have been worth $104,000.

"Network Seven handle the accommodation arrangements," Mr Lehrmann said last week during cross-examination, claiming he did not know the total benefits he would receive in rental costs.

When the programs aired, the television network said it had not paid Mr Lehrmann for the interview but had "assisted with accommodation as part of the filming of the report".

Former Liberal party staffer colleagues Brittany Higgins and Bruce Lehrmann. Pictures by Karleen Minney, James Croucher
Former Liberal party staffer colleagues Brittany Higgins and Bruce Lehrmann. Pictures by Karleen Minney, James Croucher

A media exclusivity agreement signed by Mr Lehrmann dictated the man could not directly or indirectly provide an interview or any information to any media organisation other than Seven for a year.

"In consideration of the interviewee complying in full with the terms and warranties of this agreement and for the contribution of his time, Seven will provide the interviewee 12 months accommodation at a residence to be agreed with Seven and the interviewee," the agreement stated.

MORE TRIAL COVERAGE:

Ten and Ms Wilkinson, who is expected to give evidence later in the trial, are attempting to prove the rape allegation is substantially true and that reporting it professionally was justified in the public interest.

Mr Lehrmann and Ms Higgins have both completed their time in the witness box as proceedings enter their 10th day.

Starting on Wednesday, Ten is set to call 20 witnesses, including former political staffers, security guards, police officers, family members and expert witnesses.

Mr Lehrmann has always denied raping Ms Higgins in 2019 in the office of Senator Linda Reynolds and no findings have been made against him.

His criminal trial was aborted last year due to juror misconduct and the charge levelled at him was later dropped.

Tim Piccione

Tim Piccione

Court reporter

Tim is a journalist with the Canberra Times covering the ACT courts. He came to the nation's capital via the Daily Advertiser in Wagga. Contact: tim.piccione@canberratimes.com.au.

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