Senator gets $90k payout over Lehrmann trial allegations

Senator gets $90k payout over Lehrmann trial allegations

Senator Linda Reynolds has received $90,000 and an apology from the ACT government after the territory’s former top prosecutor accused her of disturbing conduct during Bruce Lehrmann’s rape trial.

In a letter of complaint addressed to the Australian Federal Police, former Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold alleged she “engaged in direct coaching of the defence cross-examination of the complainant”.

Reynolds launched a defamation case against him and the ACT government in December after the document was published by media, claiming it caused significant loss and damage.

READ MORE: ‘I love you’: The last three words Hannah spoke to her mum

And on Friday, all parties reached a compromised settlement.

Reynolds has been paid $70,000 in damages and $20,000 in legal fees.

The ACT government also issued a formal apology and retracted the allegations contained in Drumgold’s letter while directing current DPP staff not to publish further allegations against the former defence minister. 

“We accept that allegations about Senator Reynolds made by the former Director of Public Prosecutions were found by the Board of Inquiry to be defamatory,” a Justice and Community Safety Directorate spokesperson said.

“We will not be commenting further on this matter.”

Lehrmann was accused of raping fellow political staffer Brittany Higgins inside Senator Reynolds’ ministerial office in 2019, but his 2022 trial was abandoned due to jury misconduct and a retrial was called off due to concerns about Higgins’ health.

He has denied the accusations. 

Reynolds has been contacted for comment.

Support is available from the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service at 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *