Component of Lisa Wilkinson‘s legal defence versus Bruce Lehrmann‘s defamation motion will require pointing the finger at 1 of Australian television’s most powerful males – Peter Meakin.
Mr Meakin, 80, who still left Community 10 in Oct, was a senior information and latest affairs govt when former Liberal Occasion staffer Brittany Higgins sat down with Ms Wilkinson on The Task in February 2021, alleging she was raped in Parliament house by a ‘male colleague’ in March 2019.
Ms Wilkinson and Channel 10 are getting sued by Mr Lehrmann over the interview, together with Information Lifestyle Media – an umbrella firm of Rupert Murdoch‘s News Company which operates information.com.au – in excess of protection by journalist Samantha Maiden which showcased the same allegations by Ms Higgins.
Mr Lehrmann has usually managed his innocence and strenuously denies having any sexual call with Ms Higgins.
According to his statement of assert filed in the Federal Court final month, Mr Lehrmann suggests he was defamed because Wilkinson and Maiden ended up ‘recklessly indifferent to the truth or falsities’.
Lisa Ms Wilkinson (pictured) says her colleagues actuality-checked Brittany Higgins’ rape promises prior to her award-winning job interview was aired
Section of Lisa Wilkinson’s lawful defence from Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation action will require pointing the finger at just one of Australian television’s most highly effective adult males – Peter Meakin (pictured left)
Ms Wilkinson’s defence will argue it was her colleagues’ job to fact-look at the allegations prior to publication. At no point does the court file say she executed her personal checks, past observing the consistency of Ms Higgins’ allegations and her reactions.
In the lawful doc, Ms Wilkinson named more than eight of her Community 10 colleagues as the individuals who she thinks checked the validity of Ms Higgins’ allegations.
These bundled Peter Meakin, The Project’s executive producer Craig Campbell, co-govt producer Chris Bendall, senior producer Angus Llewellyn and Laura Binnie – the program’s head of extensive-type feature tales.
‘To Wilkinson’s intellect, Meakin’s enter and considerable news and present-day affairs practical experience was significantly critical to the preparing and publication of the matters,’ the defence read through.
‘Meakin had been functioning newsrooms at all the important cost-free to air networks for far more than five decades and was, in Wilkinson’s perspective, the most respected information executive in the country.’
The Walkley award profitable information veteran has labored at Channel 9, Seven and 10 through his 5-10 years vocation and was pivotal in luring about Ms Wilkinson to The Job from Nine’s Today demonstrate.
During her teary-eyed farewell to the method in November previous year, Ms Wilkinson individually thanked Mr Meakin and said she would stay at the community.
But her upcoming at the station continues to be beneath a cloud soon after dropping her lawyers at community last month and selecting her have new legal crew to battle the defamation situation and lay blame at the feet of her colleagues.
The authorized reshuffle indicates Ms Wilkinson would be personally liable for any damages awarded in the celebration that she loses the case.
Brittany Higgins (pictured outside ACT Supreme Courtroom in October) alleged she was raped by Bruce Lehrmann. He denies the allegations
The trial in opposition to Bruce Lehrmann (pictured) was derailed by misconduct from jurors
Her defence was submitted in the Federal Court by her barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC on Wednesday, outlining she will rely on a reality defence.
That suggests her lawful team ought to confirm it is extra probably than not that Mr Lehrmann did rape Ms Higgins.
Ms Higgins has indicated that she would be inclined to give proof at the demo, if it goes forward.
Ms Wilkinson states, to her know-how, the expert team of news and latest affairs professionals came to the consensus that Ms Higgins was a credible witness.
In addition, Ms Wilkinson pointed out that Samantha Maiden’s news.com.au story was published 12 hours ahead of her Tv interview went to air, on February 15, 2021.
She thus thought Ms Maiden and News Corp had done their personal actuality-examining and legalling prior to the on-line short article was released, and did not know of any grievances about the online posting by the time The Undertaking job interview went to air.
The Tv host also claims she ‘closely observed’ Ms Higgins’ demeanor each time she observed her and ‘carefully reviewed recordings of the interviews prior to broadcast’, and generally that she thought the allegations.
Other sections of the file outline Ms Wilkinson’s substantial journalism vocation, spanning 1978 when she started out as an editorial assistant at Dolly magazine to 2017 when she turned host of The Task.
It states she has interviewed additional than ten primary ministers and earth leaders and documented on disaster zones, along with her awards and accolades – including the 2022 Logie that she received for her interview with Ms Higgins.
Even with her prolonged career in journalism, the doc notes that Ms Wilkinson ‘is not acquainted with the specifics of defamation law’.
A spokesperson from the community explained to Day by day Mail Australia that Ms Wilkinson ‘is nonetheless an staff of Channel 10’.
Previous Liberal Social gathering staffer Brittany Higgins sat down with Ms Wilkinson (pictured together) on The Challenge in February 2021, alleging she was raped in Parliament residence by a ‘male colleague’ in March 2019
Her defence states the allegations from her of recklessness are ‘baseless, unjustified, unsupported by any actuality and should really be withdrawn’.
The Television host does not dispute the central defamatory claim of rape was conveyed, but she does not confess that Mr Lehrmann was discovered.
Mr Lehrmann was not named in the Tv set job interview or in the on the internet article, but he promises his friends, relatives and previous colleagues in Parliament Residence have been equipped to recognize him as the alleged rapist.
He argues the protection invited viewers and readers to ‘speculate’ and lookup for commentary online.
One more aspect of Mr Lehrmann’s defamation declare is that Ms Wilkinson could have sought to use the allegations for her professional and personalized get – which she rejects.
Mr Lehrmann was charged with raping Ms Higgins in August 2021 – 6 months right after her allegations were being released.
He was subsequently subject to a thirty day period-extended rape demo by jury in the ACT Supreme Court docket in October final 12 months, but it was aborted because of to misconduct by a member of the jury.
Shane Drumgold SC, the Director of Community Prosecutions, then dropped the subject solely thanks to issues above Ms Higgins’ psychological health and fitness.
Ms Wilkinson then stepped down from The Venture and has not appeared on Television since November, but is reportedly even now currently being paid a seven-determine salary many thanks to her h2o-tight agreement.
When she resigned last 12 months, she mentioned it was because of to the ‘targeted toxicity’ from sections of the media.
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