Bruce Lehrmann defamation LIVE: Judges lashes Lisa Wilkinson and Ten in brutal costs hearing

Judge Lee said it was unlikely that Ten’s offer to settle the case with Lehrmann would have been accepted because the network appeared to have struck a deal with Brittany Higgins.

Network Ten sent Lehrmann a settlement offer in August last year, but did not offer him an apology or money to settle the case.

Judge Lee said in court on Wednesday that the situation with Ms Higgins was highly unusual.

He referred to an email the network received from Ms. Higgins’ lawyer, Leon Zwier, asking that no payment or apology be given to Lehrmann to resolve the matter.

She also requested that Lisa Wilkinson not be allowed to hire Sue Chrysanthou SC as her lawyer.

Ms Higgins was not a party to the proceedings, she was merely a witness.

Judge Lee said: ‘Ms Higgins’ lawyer has sent an email to your lawyer stating that they will not be cooperating with the situation in which Ms Wilkinson has informed Ms Chrysanthou and it is important for your clients to know that they Mr Lehrmann will not offer payment or any form of payment. other assistance to settle the claim.

“That came a few days after your lawyer received a letter from Ms. Wilkinson’s lawyer in which Ms. Wilkinson claimed that it appears clear that Ten is trying to pressure Ms. Wilkinson into giving up her representation.”

The judge said Ten’s boss Bev McGarvey then said Wilkinson should not be given the counsel of her choice.

‘Based on the evidence, it appears that Ten has put itself in a situation where it would make no settlement offer other than through a footbridge. [settlement offer],’ he said.

“The idea that you could make an offer to resolve the proceedings or settle the case for even a dollar was immediately thrown off the table because you apparently agreed with Ms. Higgins that no payment would be made.”

He asked how that settlement offer was consistent with the overarching purpose of a defamation lawsuit, which is normally the restoration of damaged reputations.

“I have one offer that was rejected and no evidence of any other offer, and I have Ms. McGarvey using that highly unusual provision by a witness.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in court cases.”

Ten’s lawyer Matthew Collins said Judge Lee only had evidence from that specific moment.

He assured the court that the idea that Ms. Higgins testified because her conditions were met was false.