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Brittany Higgins and David Sharaz to return to Australia for mediation talks with Linda Reynolds

Brittany Higgins and David Sharaz will return to Australia to face defamation proceedings against them by former Defense Minister Linda Reynolds.

Senator Reynolds is suing Ms Higgins and her fiancé Mr Sharaz for defamation in the Supreme Court of Western Australia over posts they each made on social media that she claims damaged her reputation.

The case will return to court on Tuesday for a mediation conference and on Wednesday for a strategic conference.

Ms Higgins and Mr Sharaz moved permanently to France at the end of last year after buying a house near Bordeaux.

They had no plans to return to Australia but it is understood they will voluntarily appear in court next week.

Brittany Higgins (left) and David Sharaz (right) will return to Australia to face defamation proceedings against them by former Defense Minister Linda Reynolds

The development comes just months after Ms Reynolds attempted to freeze Ms Higgins’ assets.

She wrote a letter to Ms Higgins’ lawyer, Leon Zwier, in December, referring to reports that the former political staffer had permanently moved to France.

“If such reports are true, we believe that a request for freezing orders is appropriate,” the letter said.

‘Please advise as soon as possible of your client’s intentions regarding her travel to France and of your availability to consult regarding our client’s proposed application.’

Linda Reynolds is suing Higgins and Sharaz for defamation in the Supreme Court of Western Australia over posts they each made on social media that she claims damaged her reputation

Linda Reynolds is suing Higgins and Sharaz for defamation in the Supreme Court of Western Australia over posts they each made on social media that she claims damaged her reputation

Ms Higgins was awarded $2.4 million in damages by the Commonwealth over claims she was not supported by her bosses, including Ms Reynolds, when she first made her rape allegations in 2019.

She accused her colleague Bruce Lehrmann of raping her in a ministerial office at Parliament House after a night out – allegations Mr Lehrmann has always denied.

After publicly airing her allegations on The Project in 2021, the case went to criminal trial in late 2022 but was dropped due to juror misconduct.

A proposed retrial was halted due to concerns about Ms Higgins’ mental health and charges against Mr Lehrmann were dropped.

Ms Higgins’ claims to the media are the subject of ongoing defamation proceedings after Mr Lehrmann sued Channel Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson.